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Sarah Palin is no Margaret Thatcher.

As much as I despised Mrs. T. you had to hand it to the Iron Lady for never pandering to those she wasn’t ideologically aligned with. The miners’ strike showed us her feelings on things such as unions – she was hell bent on destroying them.

All this talk of Caribou Barbie as America’s very own Iron Lady is all lip gloss on a turd. Mrs. Margaret still has the mental capacity today – and she’s thoroughly ga-ga – to run rings round the former second-placed beauty pageant queen that is Palin. Not that the following is a staggering example of beauty queen IQ:

But there’s one thing you do know with those on the right – and that is their general distrust, nay disgust at all things union. So, it really was a honkalicious moment when Sarah Palin made a grand to-do of her husband’s Steelworker Union membership as she introduced her family to the fawning masses and the world at the RNC.

While I may have been muttering expletives under my breath, no other than the President of United Steelworkers Union, Leo W. Gerard, was taking Mrs. Palin to task on the USW Blog:

At the press conference, Palin trotted him out, stressing his steelworker credentials. Here’s a good union man, she emphasized.

But his United Steelworker card doesn’t include an automatic auxiliary membership for her. Or her running mate at the top of the Republican ticket, McCain, whose record on labor issues would require some serious penance before he could ever earn a union card.

John McCain opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, which would enable workers to collectively bargain and secure contracts with corporations more easily, like the employment contracts CEOs demand to have with corporations. McCain has jeopardized retirement by championing Bush’s privatization scheme for social security. McCain has voted for every American-job-killing free trade deal, without regard to human rights or environmental standards.

Sarah Palin and Todd Palin
It’s Sarah Palin with first dude Todd Palin dancing the night away at some union fundraiser (or not). Cute as buttons.

Leo, easy tiger. You don’t know how you wound. He then rips into the pair of them a little bit more over general policy positions, but then returns to more union-related matters further in the post:

Ms. Palin needs to stop trotting out her husband as an exhibit until she explains her positions on workers’ issues. Just exactly where does she stand on the Employee Free Choice Act?

Her family has benefitted from her husband’s ability to be part of a labor union. Workers in labor organizations earn higher wages and are more likely to have pensions and health insurance. Because he works for BP and is a member of the USW, which collectively bargained a good contract for workers at BP, Todd Palin earns a good wage and has good health insurance. The Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for other Americans to join unions and earn better money and obtain health insurance. Polling shows that 70 percent of Americans support for the Employee Free Choice Act.

Inquiring minds want to know, Ms. Palin. Where do you stand on Employee Free Choice? Where do you stand on privatization of social security? Where do you stand on job-killing free trade?

Are you with McCain – and against workers – on these issues? If so, you need to stop using your husband’s membership in the USW as a prop, because then his union card cannot possibly cover up your or John McCain’s worker-savaging positions.

Oh, it feels like 1978.