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The largely hypothetical Democratic divide on unions

One piece of feedback I got about my piece on Democratic unity was whether the party's disagreement about K-12 education policy is really just a special case of a larger disagreement about labor unions.

The answer I think is: maybe in theory, but probably not in practice.

To the theory. Based on years of conversation and reporting, I'm quite convinced that there are some Barack Obama appointees who think that a large-scale revival of union membership in America would be really good for the country and there are others who think it would be either non-beneficial or perhaps actively harmful. This same division probably recurs in the congressional caucus.

But not much comes of this in practice because union advocates don't really have a plausible proposal to make that revival happen.

There's no ask that's so big that union-skeptical Democrats feel compelled to say no. And basically all Democrats, whatever they think about the big picture, are perfectly comfortable with the idea of union-friendly appointees to the NLRB and the National Mediation Board and the Labor Department and so forth.

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