on the waterfront
Talking Points Memo seems to have scooped everyone on a little detail regarding the current labor flap on the West Coast docks: It seems that Labor Department Solicitor Eugene Scalia--the head lawyer in the negotiations between union and management--once represented the management, and yet has refused so far even to respond to requests that he recuse himself. And the "liberal" media hasn't seen fit to bring it up, so far:
No one seems to think it's even important enough to report on. The AFL-CIO's Lane Windham told TPM today that Scalia "can't try to be impartial when he's represented one of the parties." And we find it sorta hard to disagree with her.
Look, I have not a shred of doubt that the Bush Administration would come down against the union in this dispute no matter what, so the question is, why not have Scalia recuse himself and then proceed with Taft-Hartley with a subordinate in charge? Same result, less mess (unless you want to beef about the Bush administration's hostility to labor unions, which would be fine with me). A conflict like this stinks on ice, and it strikes me as incongruous for an administration that promised "a new era of responsibility," or somesuch.