Where most of their ideas come from

It always comes back to this, doesn’t it?

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said on Sunday he is “uncomfortable” using the phrase “right-to-work” because it has its origins in the “segregationist white supremacist south.” “I’m not going to use the phrase [right to work] that is commonly used because it is such a ridiculous—let me just give people a little bit of history here,” Hayes said on his show, “Up With Chris Hayes.” He made the comment in connection with Michigan’s new right-to-work law.
“The phrase is coined by a guy by the name of Vance Muse, who is an oil industry lobbyist in Houston, Texas in the 1930s who is a white supremacist and segregationist, who — that’s what the term was first brought into use, to fight against unions as sites of forced racial integration,” he said. “The origin of this movement is an origin of the movement of the segregationist white supremacist south against the labor union as a site of forced racial integration.”
Amid angry union protests, Michigan became the 24th state to sign right-to-work legislation last week. The law makes paying union membership and paying union dues voluntary for both private and public-sector unions, except for firefighters and police.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, Muse “believed that organized labor in the United States was the source of much communistic influence,” leading him to support right to work legislation. The Christian Americans went on to work for passage of right-to-work laws in sixteen states, including Texas.

Snyder’s polling is tanking and I don’t imagine it will get any better now that he and the GOP lawmakers in Michigan got caught red-handed pushing a lobbyist-drafted “more guns in elementary schools!” bill that disallows parents and teachers from opting out of the roaming, unregulated citizen militia school-patrol idea.

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50 replies
  1. 1
    Derelict says:

    While creating and passing legislation should not necessarily be based on what’s popular, it should be done in the open AND with the general public’s right to participate put on an equal footing with that of lobbyists.

  2. 2
    The Other Chuck says:

    Snyder knows he’s a one-termer. He’s setting out to do as much damage as possible before he’s out. This is what republicans do. Always.

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    More news from the front. This dispatch from NewDixie.

    Nullification is yet again picking up steam in Dixie.

    Pursuing an archaic legal theory that punctuated pre-Civil War disputes between the federal government and states, South Carolina state Rep. Bill Chumley last week pre-filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would criminalize implementation of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform law.

    I think we need to reinforce Ft Sumter, with at least new platoon of park rangers.

    Next up. Pilot program for reinstating Jim Crow.

  4. 4
    suekzoo says:

    @The Other Chuck: This Michigander hopes you’re right about Snyder and one-term. I’ll do my part to make sure it happens.

  5. 5
    Roger Moore says:

    @Derelict:
    And, frankly, the whole part about ramming this stuff through in a lame duck session stinks to high heaven. The Republicans knew they couldn’t propose this stuff before the election because it would kill them, and they know they won’t be able to pass it in the new legislature because they lost their majority in the lower house anyway. So they’re in a massive rush to push through a bunch of stuff at the last minute that they know they won’t be able to get any other way. The result is terrible legislation that’s going to be full of flaws and loopholes because the normal deliberative process was bypassed.

  6. 6
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @General Stuck:
    Sometimes—sometimes—I wish a motherfucker would.

    They should be careful what they ask for re: Civil War 2.0; the worst case scenario is that we can clear most of these retrograde neo-Confederate traitors out in one fell swoop instead of letting them die off gradually and poisoning the body politic for decades.

  7. 7
    Bulworth says:

    he and the GOP lawmakers in Michigan got caught red-handed pushing a lobbyist-drafted “more guns in elementary schools!” bill that disallows parents and teachers from opting out of the roaming, unregulated citizen militia school-patrol idea.

    Ah, more Freedom. //

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    @General Stuck:
    I take it that this is just Mr Chumley saying “fuck you” to Obama and Obamacare. Because this is surely a settled question by now: there’s no way a state legislature can make it illegal to implement a federal law.

  9. 9
    WarMunchkin says:

    I’ve only been to a gun range once. It was the only time I’ve ever fired a gun. And while target shooting was fun, and I respect that hobby — the moment I am required to carry a weapon whenever I step outside my home, I leave the country, no buts there. You cannot expect parents, children, businesses, schools, medical facilities and modern institutions to function in a society where everyone is able to kill anyone within the blink of an eye.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck:

    South Carolina receives more money from the federal government than they pay in.

    Bye-bye, SC. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    MI will soon be running like a fine Gateway computer.

    Full of bugs, mostly made in China.

  12. 12
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Time to plan the Million Sherman March.

  13. 13
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    As an aside, you know how one of the old standbys of gun boosters is the idea of ‘enforce the laws on the books’?

    Yeah…..

    Kevin Drum: “Government Agency Charged with Enforcing Gun Laws Has No Permament Director, Tiny Staff.

    In other words, the ATF has been systematically defanged to where it pretty much can’t enforce jack shit, and guess how that happened? So…maybe it’s not that ‘we have gun laws, and see how they did preventing this?!’ Maybe it’s ‘we have gun laws, but we can’t enforce them anymore because of the NRA and their hired stooges’.

    Edit: Oh, and for extra fun and games, the newest must-have Child Accessory:Armored Backpacks!!

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    They may not need any of that civil war relic stuff to take over the country for good. It’s the new voter suppression that is legal, that may well grant them the golden ring of permanent rulers of the realm. They are fixing to fix elections for president, by siphoning off as many electoral votes as needed from large blue states that they control the state governing levers of power right now.

    Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office.

    Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s statehouse majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.

    They are mad little busy beavers these days. And there is nothing stopping them from carving up some dem states for more electoral votes. And you won’t find any such proposals for Texas. We got to figure a way to stop them.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    The South will Writhe again!

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    @General Stuck: Wow! The comment section of that article is pure comedy gold. People arguing that the 10th Amendy trumps Obama (whatever that means). That the SCOTUS has no power to declare things unconstitutional. It’s like 2nd graders are writing the comments.

    Day’um.

  17. 17
    Kane says:

    When I heard Chris Hayes briefly explain the origins of the “right-to-work” policy, I wondered why those on the left are not pointing this out at every opportunity.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    it is survival seeds of southern rebellion, long dormant, but never dead and now germinating. Times are different, and that rebellion may also take different forms than the past. But it is the beginning of the effort to beat demographics with all sorts of shenanigans, imo, and we will see if it works, or not in modern times.

  19. 19
    Bostondreams says:

    @Punchy:

    That the SCOTUS has no power to declare things unconstitutional.

    Yeah, apparently Marbury v Madison never happened for them.

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    Is that really what the bill said? I got the sense it was more of an oversight, if anything.

  21. 21
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Punchy: I like this comment, which is one version of at least 2 dozen of similars:

    UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, however, told U.S. News the proposed law “would be clearly un-enforceable, because the federal law – upheld by the Supreme Court – trumps state law.”

    Another liberal professor. Sorry but the Constitution says STATE law TRUMPS the feds.

    To say they’re in another reality is putting it mildly.

  22. 22
    Linnaeus says:

    @BGinCHI:

    And Snyder’s trying to sell off Michigan just like he did Gateway.

    Michigan progressives need to get energized and stay on Snyder and the GOP lege. The latter two probably expected a poll hit and are figuring that memories will fade two years from now. Michigan voters need to be reminded regularly of just how bad Republican governance is under the current regime.

  23. 23
    Linnaeus says:

    @Kane:

    Because a lot of people on the left don’t actually know that. Education about labor and its history has really atrophied along with the decline in membership.

    I helped to organize two union locals, and we had to do a lot of “Labor 101” kind of stuff because even among the highly educated population we were organizing, so many really didn’t know anything about unions, collective bargaining, etc.

  24. 24
    cmorenc says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Snyder knows he’s a one-termer. He’s setting out to do as much damage as possible before he’s out. This is what republicans do. Always.

    The GOP is counting on it being much more difficult to undo many of the things they are ramming through than it was to do them while they momentarily had clear control of both houses of the legislature and the governorship. That’s because they only need to retain effective leverage to block the change in one of those three elements, whereas the democrats will need to gain simultaneousl dominant control of all three.

  25. 25
    Thomas F says:

    Let me follow the equation:

    Word originating in Texas with racial overtones seventy years ago + ___________ = RACIST LAW IN MICHIGAN IN 2012!

    Fucking logic, how does it work?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    You know you’re through the looking glass when Eugene Volokh is classed as a “liberal professor.”

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Thomas F: Yeah, but apparently logic isn’t your strong point. The equation should read:

    Phrase originating in Texas with racial overtones seventy years ago + Republicans in 2012 = Another attempt at turning the American people into slaves.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Thomas F:

    Here, let me fix that for you:

    Word Law originating in Texas with racial overtones seventy years ago + ___________ = RACIST LAW IN MICHIGAN IN 2012!

    You are aware that “right-to-work” laws actually exist, right? And that they’re actually called that?

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I thought it was bad politics for Snyder to crow that the protestors had cleared out. It had a very Romney-esque “the little people have left the Chamber, and now we can get down to bidness in quiet rooms” sound. It’s like he’s baiting them. He couldn’t resist that final humiliation. I think they’re the wrong people to do that to. Should have spouted some bullshit about “coming together”.

  30. 30
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s a phrase I won’t use without scare quotes or making a face. It is fucking Newspeak.

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Another liberal professor.

    Yeah, the Eugene Volokh who advocated having kindergarten teachers pack heat. Sociopath? Yes. Liberal? No.

  31. 31
    Chyron HR says:

    @Thomas F:

    I’m sorry to hear that you can’t come up with an argument in favor of your boy Snyder’s right-to-work law. But, hey, you can argue semantics all day long–that’s almost the same thing, right?

  32. 32
    Linnaeus says:

    @Kay:

    It was bad politics, but Snyder either misjudged the voters or simply didn’t care. That’s exactly the kind of thing Michigan progressives need to make hay of over the next two years.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, of course he isn’t.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    Because a lot of people on the left don’t actually know that. Education about labor and its history has really atrophied along with the decline in membership.

    “Half of writing history is burying the truth.”

    The extent to which the entire labor and populist movements of the early 20th century have been written out of the history books is breathtaking, to put it mildly.

  35. 35
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Why “right-to-work” should always be in scare quotes.

  36. 36
    AxelFoley says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    @Jay in Oregon: Time to plan the Million Sherman March.

    This.

  37. 37
    Ohio Mom says:

    All this talk of Michigan is reminding me of my family’s Thanksgiving weekend visit to the Detroit area and the afternoon we spent at the African-American Museum downtown (which is well worth a visit for anyone heading up that way). One of the upcoming special events the museum was promoting was a speaker on the emergency manager law.

    I thought it was a little curious that the museum thought that the emergency manager law was in their purview but it became much clearer a few weeks later when I read on Diane Ravitch’s blog that a good number of the state’s African Americans live in towns that are now under the control of an emergency manager and that that number is poised to grow to include HALF of all AAs in the state.

    That’s right, it’s very likely that soon half of all African Americans in Michigan will be living in a jurisdiction that isn’t led by elected leaders. It may not be the end of democracy but it is definitely a serious erosin.

    http://dianeravitch.net/2012/1.....overnment/

  38. 38
    japa21 says:

    @Chris: And considering most textbooks nowadays are written based upon Texas Board of Education standards, it isn’t surprising that most people don’t know the history of unions,e tc. That’s why my son, who teaches American History at a college prep school in Chicago doesn’t use textbooks when he can avoid it.

  39. 39

    @Ohio Mom:
    Heh. Can’t own the people outright anymore, and poor people don’t have high enough wages to be debt-slaves. So just take over (privatize) the land underneath them!

    There’s a certain evil genius to it.

    If only these fuckers could apply all that cleverness towards something that didn’t try to turn America into shit.

  40. 40
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Ohio Mom: There is a serious problem, though. The city of Detroit really can’t pay its bills. If a municipality in Michigan goes bankrupt, the state is on the hook for its liabilities. Given that, the state has to have some ability to step in and take control. Otherwise, you have the equally corrosive to democracy situation in which the people of Detroit can vote for policies that those elsewhere in the state must pay for even though they are not represented on the city council and don’t vote for mayor.

    There were a lot of provisions in PA4 that made it a thoroughly toxic piece of legislation, but the underlying problem it was designed to solve is real. PA72 had a lot more safeguards in it and wasn’t a bad compromise for a situation where all of the possible approaches have serious flaws in them.

    There are, of course, a hell of a lot of problems in Detroit, some of which the current legislature exacerbated. It didn’t really create them, though, and while I’ve generally approved of the Bing administration in the city, the citizens of Detroit did themselves no favors by re-electing the corrupt Coleman Young long past his use by date and then electing the equally corrupt Kwame Kirkpatrick. At some point, elections have consequences.

    It’s a sad situation and I don’t see any good ways out of it. Invocation of PA72 may be the least bad of them.

  41. 41
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    The extent to which the entire labor and populist movements of the early 20th century have been written out of the history books is breathtaking, to put it mildly.

    Yep. Granted, one has to make editorial judgement calls when putting together a textbook, but we need to be aware of the context in which those decisions are made.

  42. 42
    Linnaeus says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Detroit may get the PA4 treatment anyway, since the Michigan legislature just passed another emergency manager bill that’s substantively the same as the one the voters repealed in November.

  43. 43
    Linnaeus says:

    Looks like Snyder’s going to veto the concealed guns in schools bill.

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I’m afraid he doesn’t care. If he grants them the wish-list first term, he doesn’t need a second. Kasich is ambitious, politically. It’s the only check on his actions. When Kasich was elected, local Republicans planned on him ascending to the presidency. I think he’s going to run.

  45. 45
    Ohio Mom says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Well, there’s only one Detroit and its problems are so large I don’t know if what is applicable to it is applicable anywhere else. But if it does get an emergency manager, it would be the sixth or so Michigan city to get one; as this NY Times article relates, Benton Harbor’s had one since 2010 and he’s been working steadily to turn this little African American town that just happens to be located on Lake Michigan’s scenic shore into a high-priced resort town:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....&_r=0

    (I really have to learn how to imbed links)

    And no, the residents of Benton Harbor are not benefiting from the new fancy private golf course built on their former public park grounds.

    I was just a teenage back then and not paying much attention to current events, but I remember President Ford telling my hometown to drop dead. But nobody removed our elected representatives in NYC.

  46. 46
    mary says:

    A friend’s father was a union organizer in the 1930’s & 1940’s. He died quite a few years ago now. But I do remember her telling me that in the South, it all came down to race. They couldn’t get the union voted in because the blacks would be paid the same and have access to the same jobs. The whites would rather live with less than treat the blacks as equals. So yeah, I believe this about the ‘right to work’ laws.

  47. 47
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Linnaeus: I helped to organize two union locals, and we had to do a lot of “Labor 101″ kind of stuff because even among the highly educated population we were organizing, so many really didn’t know anything about unions, collective bargaining, etc.

    Yup. They don’t teach this stuff in schools. They really, really don’t.

  48. 48
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Ohio Mom: I was just a teenage back then and not paying much attention to current events, but I remember President Ford telling my hometown to drop dead. But nobody removed our elected representatives in NYC.

    Oh, hadn’t you heard? “Those people” don’t “deserve” self-governance. I heard this in complete earnest as a young person when I casually advocated for self-governance and representation for the District of Columbia.

    Even my racist mom thought the status of DC wasn’t right. But she wasn’t from the area. (She was from OK, and railed against Native American kids with bad grades getting a free ride at OK’s storied state educational institutions.) Superior justifications for selfishness, and all that.

    They’re like the aliens in the Star Trek episode The Empath. And here I thought it was a dumb, kinda slashy episode.

  49. 49
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Well, that was the point of my comment. The roots of “right to work” come out of our segregationalist past; the emergency manager law is fed by present-day racism. Stuff you’d think a state like Michigan would be beyond.

  50. 50
    Zach says:

    @The Other Chuck:
    I think Snyder is just politically inept. He could have hung around for years. I can’t believe he was worried about a primary fight!!

    Michigan has an open primary. Lots of moderate dems crossed over to vote for Snyder in the primary to get him on the ballot in the first place. They won’t now.

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