'Union thugs don't wear shorts, Bill'

Last modified: 8/17/2012 12:00:00 AM

House Speaker Bill O'Brien, slayer of straw men, is up in arms again. This time he's aiming at the "union thugs" at the post office who he alleges have developed a case of the slows when it comes to delivering his campaign mail. Like O'Brien's attack on the non-existent problem of voter fraud, undocumented problem of welfare fraud, and barely existent problem of nepotism in government, his attack on postal workers is fueled by politics and paranoia, not proof.

Tampering with or interfering with the mail is a federal offense, but as of yesterday O'Brien had not requested that U.S. postal inspectors investigate his allegation that postal workers were messing with his mail. O'Brien has also accused union workers of swiping signs his campaign has posted in public areas and replacing them with union signs, again with no proof. Since posting campaign signs on public property is illegal, it's likely that, if O'Brien's signs were removed, it was by road crews that were instructed to do so.

O'Brien's talk of "union thugs" and "union bosses" who are out to get him is quaint and dated. It's been years since unions wielded the kind of power at the polls that the speaker wants people to fear.

It would be no surprise if union members, and voters who care about the lot of working stiffs, find little to like in O'Brien's positions. Nor, outside of the staunchest of right-to-work proponents, will he win much support with his unsubstantiated smear of all union members.

"My sense is that there will come a time right before November 6 in this election cycle, or perhaps even before the primary, when the unionized postal employees will just stop delivering my mail entirely, cutting me off from having an effective conversation with my constituents." O'Brien said on his Facebook page.

Well, Bill, we don't think that will happen. But given the way you carry on, come January you may be able to count your constituents on one hand.'

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