Saturday, February 14, 2009

Framing the Debate: Why Does the GOP Hate the Middle Class?

We find ourselves in the middle of an economic crossroads, arguably the hardest financial crisis the country has had to face since its founding. 3.6 million jobs have been lost since December 2007 and half of those were in the last three months alone, which means the problem is accelerating. Basically, we are facing another Great Depression if nothing is done to try and stem the tide.

And yet for the last three weeks, while debating an economic recovery bill that will attempt to create jobs, give tax breaks to middle and lower income workers and try to kick start the economy with some consumer spending, there has been nothing but resistance from the Republican Party. I really don't understand that. Are the Republican leaders in Washington so isolated that they think doing nothing and letting this economic storm run its course is the way to go? Are they so obtuse that they think corporate tax cuts, the same type of cuts that we experienced for the last eight years, are the solution to losing 600,000 jobs a month?

For all those three weeks, I personally heard nothing from GOP leaders except whining and moaning about how much this bill was going to cost our children and our grandchildren. I heard about how it was so full of pork, it wasn't really a stimulus bill. I heard about how the real way to get the economy going again was a round of tax cuts for businesses one minute and then crying that there were too many giveaways for the "corporate high rollers" the next, thank you very much, Senator John "The Fundamentals of Our Economy Are Still Strong" McCain.

And the news outlets and cable news talking heads and pundits were all too eager to frame the narrative in the same fashion, repeating GOP talking points about money for "grass on the National mall" and criticizing Medicaid family planning money as "$200 million for contraception." And after all the grousing, and President Obama acquiescing because he knew that the sooner we could get this bill passed, the sooner we could make our way back on the road to economic recovery and the better off we would all be, he still got absolutely zero support from his supposedly distinguished colleagues across the aisle.

Well, the bill passed anyway and out of all the Republican members of Congress, the bill only received three Republican votes. Three. So now it is our turn to frame the narrative. Every Democratic Congressman and Senator should be shouting this from the mountaintops:

The GOP just voted against the biggest middle class tax cuts in history!

Why does the Republican Party hate the middle class? Why are cuts for businesses and the wealthiest Americans not a problem for the GOP to vote for, but they can't bear the thought of giving a break to middle and lower income earners, the people who need it most? Keep repeating until it becomes second nature and you say it in your sleep. It's time to take over the narrative.

(H/T Bob Cesca)


And I'm tired of hearing wingnuts complain that there wasn't time to read the bill that was written behind closed doors. Are you telling me that Senators and Congressmen don't have enough interns or staff to take the 400 or so pages that were amended and break it down into 40 page sections to get through it in an hour? They wasted their time on the news outlets crying and moaning about the "spending" in a stimulus bill instead of reading the fucking thing. They certainly seem to have time to make up lies about what's in the bill or sling mud at the Speaker of the House. Studying field mice? A Pelosi vacation trip to Europe?

Stop wasting time making shit up and start using your time constructively and do some fucking work. Sorry, I'm not going to take the "no time to read the bill" crap as an excuse when they have plenty of time to make shit up out of whole cloth, and can spare a staffer to run to the pet store for a furry cat toy play mouse to use as a prop on the House floor.

These rats are circling the drain. Next stop: November 2010.

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