Tennessee Volkswagen workers reject UAW representation in a close vote; they could have been the first workers at a foreign auto factory with union representation in the South. Volkswagen didn't stand in the way of the vote the way most American corporations do, which ("workers' councils" aside) may be evidence of confidence more than enlightenment; the if-they-can't-do-it-here noises have started, but they're coming from folks who don't take the long view -- or, more precisely, don't want you to take the long view. And the bigger story here may be that Republicans went all-out to pressure workers to vote against organizing, with at least one state Senator actually threatening reprisals against Volkswagen. But U.S. Sen. Corker, who also castigated Detroit auto workers for failing to give up benefits quickly enough during the 2008 auto industry bailout, may regret enabling President Obama's statements. I was a bit stunned to hear Mr. Obama say Tennessee Republicans "are more concerned about German shareholders than American workers," which sure is a short-run zinger, but remember that Mr. Obama is still hot to get the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" signed, which would put shareholders above workers on approximately this scale.
Meanwhile, Republican Senate candidate Milton Wolf, a cousin of Mr. Obama, has released some flatugasms on twitter that would make ordinary folks feel ashamed of themselves. Seriously, Mr. Obama treats "successful Americans" like Hitler treated "Jews & Gypsies"? Does Mr. Wolf really mean that garnering record corporate profits is exactly like getting gassed and turned into bars of soap? It gets better: "Other than killing Jews, what domestic policy of the Nazis do today's American liberals oppose?" he asks. Well, let's see: exterminating gays, confining women to children-kitchen-and-church, denying privacy rights to all citizens, conquering nearby nations as a means of expansion, harassing and imprisoning Catholics and political dissidents, subjugating private property completely to the perceived needs of the state, depriving folks not lucky enough to be born into the "master" race of their legal rights -- well, whaddaya know? Liberals oppose all of that. ("Conquering nearby nations" does count as a domestic policy, Mr. Wolf, since the Nazis explicitly expressed it as such.) If incumbent Sen. Roberts becomes ex-Sen. La-Z-Boy, then the world will be hearing a lot from Milton Wolf in the coming years. But not here. Let's never speak of him again.
Finally, Vice President Biden laments to a conference of House Democrats that "there isn't a Republican Party" anymore, due to its apparent splintering. "I wish there were," he went on, "I wish there was a Republican party. I wish there was one person we could sit across the table from and make a deal and make the compromise and know when you got up from the table that the deal was done." A Republican party unified enough that one person can credibly represent them in back-room negotiations over policy? Clearly Republicans don't even want that anymore, because they can only win in times of chaos and disorder, and thus they only foment chaos and disorder. And yet I must ask if Mr. Biden has considered the Democrats' role in all of this. Democrats have moved so far to the right over the years that Republicans have nowhere to go but further right, which looks more and more like nihilism the further right they go; if Mr. Biden would like to see a functioning Republican party again -- hell, if he'd like to see a functioning conservative movement again -- then he ought to encourage Democrats to try being Democrats again, which means fighting for their constituents all the time, and not just when doing so amuses their corporate paymasters.