This is really an example of what economists call free-riding. You like the social benefits that have been the result of union organizing and mobilization, but you don't want to contribute any effort to those goals. And indeed, why should you if you get the benefits anyway? But you see what happens when more and more people free ride: benefits get slashed, wages and salaries go down, and your children increasingly will live in a winner-take-all society...fine if you're cum laude at Harvard, but not so nice if you graduate from State College.
and not be pro-union. Yes, I know the history of labor unions and the past corruption and anti-democratic practices. But the only way to raise the social living standard is to have an organized labor movement powerful enough to play the political game. It may seem like chicken-and-egg, but it's not. The great advances in economic equality in the US came after the Wagner Act.
I think what the Republicans are doing is attacking institutions and groups that have historically supported Democrats. The fact that the institutional attacks also support pet GOP policies is a plus, but the main thing is to make sure that when popular discontent with Repug policies increases (oh...say, about 4 years from now), there'll be no support infrastructure capable of sustaining a progressive counter-attack. I would appreciate it if anyone has links that would help me flesh out these thoughts. A cursory survey:
The attack on laborin general, and public employee unions in particular, is central. See Borosage for all the ways this is happening.
The tort-reform effort is an attack on lawyers in general and trial lawyers in particular, as well as an attack on one of the few ways private citizens have of gaining some relief from renegade corporations.
No Child Left Behind is--especially in its current underfunded version--an attack on public schools and, by implication, teachers' unions (a key constituency for Democrats). It has the added appeal to the thugs of providing down the line (when even good suburban public schools are having difficulty meeting the unrealistic standards) a rationale for vouchers and charter schools.
Isn't this backwards? My impression is that the white south is closer to Democratic positions on policies than on values. They believe in a demonstrative religiousity that many northerners find immodest at best, and are too accepting of racial and sexual prejudices that offend many of us who live in diverse neighborhoods. At the same time, poll after poll shows that when policy positions are described accurately, rather than with Rove's labels, southerners agree with Democratic policies.
because he uses it so often is "my opponent and I have a difference of opinion,"
implies that facts, evidence, etc. don't matter. It's all "opinion." That gives listeners licence to simply choose whose opinion you like better. I don't have to look at the evidence, after all, I have a right to my "opinion."