(AP/Carlos Osorio)

Once again, it’s Collective Bargaining Day in the comments to the Opinions page of the Washington Post. A hundred years of Wobblies and Samuel Gompers and Big Bill Haywoods and whatnot are in the air. Huzzah! Hey hey, ho ho! Giant rat balloon! (Speaking of, DC’s seems to have developed a nasty infection.)

While yesterday the bunker was confronted with the commenters’ efforts to unionize in the comments of Harold Meyerson’s column, today we have fierce, FIERCE somewhat-free-market-in-that-nobody-gets-paid-that-we-know-of competition for who can most encourage the GOP to get down with their bad selves.

E.J. Dionne’s picture of the Republicans at a crossroads — pursue moderation or manipulation to get policies passed? — has the streets ringing with cowbells and chanting about rights.

sanfran6003 says the GOP has already picked its path, and it ain’t moderation:

EJ Dionne, they’re way ahead of you…
The Koch brothers have pioneered the strategy of concentrating on tiny state legislature races and pouring in funds (petty cash for the Kochs) to get ‘tea party’ types selected by the Republicans. That often means picking the winner.in red states. The strategy then builds by redistricting the state legislatures into safe districts and promoting voter ID laws to limit the vote. The Koch brothers, using this strategy, have bought and paid for Kansas and are doing the same to Arkansas. Whether blue states are targets yet is unknown to me.

independentcandor says the GOP is winning elections and doesn’t need to change:

The GOP regained control of the House, which controls the nation’s purse strings, and a mandate to resist big-government failures. The GOP gained more governorships in the last election and controls a majority of states, particularly those with the best economies. The GOP is succeeding with its Right to Work policies, which give greater freedoms to individual workers.  The GOP successes are driving the left-wingers into hysteria and exposing their corrupt and violent ways.
Based on the facts, it looks like a great foundation for future success for conservatives, and more importantly, for the USA.

JamesYork agrees:

I think you are missing the larger Republican strategy. It is: abandon for now all hopes of winning a national election (the Presidency). Instead, focus on the states.

So, no need for strategy revamps.  Sorry, Dionne.  They’re doing just fine.  

Speaking of just fine, how are commenters adapting to the newfound INCREDIBLE COSMIC POWER to have the Post site ignore other commenters FOR them? Let’s see it in action — a rare moment in which “Ignore User” is acknowledged, and thus the Ignored knows he or she is being ignored electronically, not just mentally.  


The question here seems to me the simple one – is there any locus of power in the movement and party strong enough or organized enough to take on the Koch faction? I don’t think there is.


The “Koch faction”– a pointless sneer. Right to work has been mainstream conservative policy for decades. Calling it a power grab is Orwellian.  Week after week, Dionne peddles the same inane wisdom–that conservatives should adopt liberal orthodoxy. Boring and pointless.


Hey, quarterback, you dropped the ball when it comes to money influence!! But then again, that’s all you care about!


Up, if you are seeing quarterback, you need to do something. If you are on a PC, hover your mouse cursor over his post until the words “Ignore User” appear at the lower right corner of it. Click the words.  If on a touch interface, you should be able to do the same with a touch operation. Trust me, you do want to do this.


UpNorth sees dead people.
@chris – Yes, the use of “free” as word, concept AND as moral claim is very interesting. I recall thinking, when the free trade debates were initially raging that there seemed to be a model of thinking involved that leaned on physics and engineering, eg it is always a good thing to reduce resistance in electrical conductors and that zero resistance was unquestionably optimal.
But as soon as we enter human interactions and choices into the equation, the moral questions arise and they aren’t clear or simple in the mode of engineering. “Free rapists”, for example.

Effectively, that was the end of the conversation involving quarterback (so far as PostScript can discern).  He or she had one more thing to say, remarking upon those who chose to ignore him or her, but not in the process talking TO them:


Thus we observe again the depth of Bernie and Cao’s argument. They compare economic freedom to rape. And yet just days ago Bernie greeted gay marriage and legal pot as the very dawn of liberty.  It is bizarro world.

But it was not responded to! Interestingly, it was also the end of the whole thread (again, as far as PostScript can observe.) PostScript doesn’t know what this means, but she will continue to report on the behavioral response of commenters from inside her Hazmat suit/giant rat costume (that’s PostScript on the far right). Stay tuned!