Reid: Without GOP Help, Card Check Could Take a While

This is the best news I’m likely to hear today. I’m also thrilled that Harry Reid is willing to ‘blame’ the Republicans for any delay in passing Card Check; it demonstrates that his political instincts haven’t gotten any sharper.

God-willing Card Check will be soundly defeated, and Reid and the Senate Democratic leadership will hold a series of press conferences and public events castigating Republicans for their steadfast opposition:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acknowledged Tuesday that fierce resistance from Republicans and business groups could force him to delay action on controversial card check legislation sought by unions.

Reid told reporters Tuesday that work on the bill is progressing, but the measure, which would let workers join a union by signing union-issued cards instead of holding a vote by secret ballot, could be completed before the August recess only with Republican help.

“If Republicans will work with us just a little bit, we could get it done before the August recess,” Reid said.

Mitch McConnell’s been expressing confidence about his ability to keep together 40 votes against Card Check. That confidence almost certainly comes from the stampede of moderate Senate Democrats away from the bill. If Reid can’t hold Mark Pryor, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, and Ben Nelson, Card Check is already dead – at least in its current iteration.

The problem is that every part of this bill is terrible. While attention has been focused on the high-profile elimination of the secret ballot for union organizing, the bill also puts federal arbiters in charge of all aspects of some labor deals. Mickey Kaus has done a great job of laying out just how bad it may be. It’s no stretch to say that Card Check would put a significant chunk of the economy under government control.

The challenge for Card Check opponents is twofold:

  1. To make sure that Nelson, Pryor, Lincoln, Landrieu and others don’t get away with voting to end the filibuster against Card Check, but then vote against it on final passage.
  2. To block any Card Check ‘compromise’ which is essentially as bad as the original bill. Anything that retained the arbitration provisions would qualify.

The opposition has done a good job against Card Check so far, but the fight is far from over.