Card-check battle leaves all combatants worse for wear

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Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)
The apparent demise of a bill intended to make it easier for unions to form has left nearly all sides bloodied from battle.

Two esteemed senators caved into pressure and reversed prior support. Business groups that for years had no trouble with inane rulings by a packed National Labor Relations Board (that just happened to invariably favor their positions) were suddenly defending secret union elections as a central tenet of democracy. And a blatant attempt by union groups to grab power and swell their ranks was exposed for being just that.

That's one win for those against the new labor law, a loss for those for it and a huge drop in credibility for all involved.

Now that the Employee Free Choice Act is essentially dead, it's tempting to point out that a win-at-all-costs mentality drove and undermined the debate. Except there's one problem: The fight may not really be over. Continuing attempts to use disinfomercials and parsed polls may be intended as much for the next round as the last one.

Also, a slightly modified version of the bill could regain the senators' support. Round two promises to be equally nasty and underhanded.
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