On the unions’ massive spending in Arkansas 

Labor unions, upset with Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, poured $10 million into the primary challenge by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. The White House, as is nearly iron-clad custom, backed the incumbent, Lincoln. Tuesday night after Lincoln won her runoff, one WH official said, “Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise.”

I have a few reactions to this:

  • Ten million dollars is a lot of money, and that puts the lie to Left’s claim in this race that it was Halter vs Big Money and Special Interests. “A Bill Halter victory,” said Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, “will prove that millions of dollars in corporate money can’t make up for a grassroots army and activism by regular people.” This is a running problem on the Left — they’re like Red Sox fans who can’t come to grips with the fact that there is big money on their side, too, and that they are not the underdogs they imagine themselves to be.
  • On a similar note, the Club for Growth’s communications guy put out on Twitter last night: “Big Labor spent $10M in AR-Sen and lost? If Club for Growth had SEIU’s budget, Jim DeMint would be a Senate moderate.”
  • A very apt liberal retort to the White House was: what about the millions the Democratic Party threw down the drain campaigning for Specter? It reminds me that many of us on the Left and Right last year concluded that Specter’s switch brought the Dems as much  pain as gain.

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Timothy P. Carney

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