Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Tim Scott Conundrum

Proving that it's a great day for Tim Scott if not for his constituents, polling indicates that he is South Carolina's "most popular politician."  I try very hard to understand this phenomenon, as I have never heard him utter a meaningful thought.  But this, I fear, is the secret to his success.

Scott has been groomed by the .01 percent who own this country.  To be fair, he has an obsequious, non-threatening demeanor.  Just as Nikki Haley is the woman the right-wing loves to have speak for them, Tim Scott is the black man that the Kochs want mouthing their values.  And I did hate writing that sentence.  But the fact is, Tim Scott is not going to be the person to ever, EVER question the wealthy and powerful of this country.

He is able to be an Everyman whose polite sincerity makes credible the damaging positions he defends.

Of late he is stepping up on the floor of the Senate to defend the Senate's vote to challenge the National Labor Relations Board's recent streamlining of election rules.  With typical Orwellian panache, the right wing is calling the NLRB rule change the "Ambush Election rule."

Scott paints for us a portrait of those evil unions trying to force employers and employees to bend to their will.  In his speech, he talks about "the hyperpartisan, pro-union entity" trying to tear down South Carolina's "pro-business, pro-employee environment."  In a diatribe bringing to mind a schoolyard whine, he claims that the NLRB's general counsel "made jokes about destroying the American economy and call(ed) members of Congress names."

In that hometown manner we know so well, Scott reminisces about those years when he was a small business entrepreneur, and how if the NLRB had had their way, he would have been forced to take time and money away from his small business, neglecting his life's work as well as his employees, to comply with the new election rules in less than 10 days.  In fact, the rules would allow for elections in 14 days, but what's a few days distortion?  And the push behind the opposition to these rules comes from corporations like McDonald's and Walmart.  The modest rule changes would in fact prevent only to some extent the stalling and strong-arm tactics that have been used to keep workers from learning about and joining unions.

Now, Tim's no dummy, in the sense that he appears to have smart people tailoring his message.  In his weekly email, he highlighted his fight to protect us from the evil union bosses by saying that this rule:

 requires an unprecedented amount of an employee’s personal information to be given to union representatives

 By an unprecedented amount, he means cell phone numbers and email addresses of employees.  You know, contact information.  The employer would be forced to collect information -- which they already have -- and share it with the unions, which is what Scott sees as an unfair advantage.  Of course, what Scott's corporate partners would prefer is that union officials have no access to employees.  And the more time they have before a union election, the more opportunity those corporations have to pressure employees to reject the union.  This is the situation that Tim Scott believes is fair to employers.  In reality, anti-union corporations believe that they own the shop and they own the employee.  All others keep out.  And underneath all the sincere concern, Scott believes this as well.

But the thing about Tim Scott's sales pitch is that he talks about himself as one of us.  His only interest is seeing that we get a fair shake, that we aren't taken advantage of.  So when he does the Orwellian flip, he truly seems caring and credible.

And, fact is, I believe that Tim Scott believes what he is telling us.  And he always will, because he will not hear or believe anything that contradicts those who have taken him under their wing.

And therein lies the danger of Tim Scott.

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