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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still More Ahistorical Platform Coverage

As previous posts have noted, media analyses of the GOP platform have suggested that certain planks represent abrupt shifts in position.  But in fact, many of these purported shifts are just repetitions or revisions of items that appeared in past platforms.  

At The New York Times, Steven Greenhouse writes:  "The platform — saying it would promote `greater economic liberty' — calls for enacting a nationwide `right-to-work' law. Such a law would prohibit union contracts at private-sector workplaces from requiring employees to pay any dues or other fees to a union. While the idea of a national right-to-work law is new, GOP platforms have affirmed state right-to-work laws since 1980.  And the federal statute authorizing such laws dates back to 1947.

As the article says, the platform supports legislation to bar the use of public employees' mandatory dues for political purposes.  But that position is not too far removed from what the 1992 platform said: "We will fully implement the Supreme Court's decision in the Beck case, ensuring that workers have the right to stop the use of their union dues for political or other non-collective bargaining purposes."

And repeal of the Davis-Bacon "prevailing wage" law is a golden oldie:  it was also in the 1992 platform.