Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Randi Rhodes: War on 'The Have Nots'

If the Republicans are the party of the “haves” and the “have mores,” they’re going to try and win this next election by demonizing the “have nots” and “have nothings.” In terms of the “have nots,” more and more Republicans are coming out against even the concept of a minimum wage. The GOP wants the minimum wage to be just like them—they don’t want any limit to how low it can go. Most people look at the minimum wage and think “how do people afford to live on that?” Republicans look at the minimum wage and think “how do people afford to pay their hired help that?”
RNC Chairman Michael Steele has no idea what the minimum wage even is! Here’s a hint, Michael—it’s what the RNC would be paying you if they had their way. Oh well, if Michael Steele is ignorant about the amount of the minimum wage, it’s still not as bad as Joe Miller being ignorant about the constitutionality of the minimum wage.

Then there are always the “have nothings” to pick on. Newt Gingrich is urging the GOP to “close the deal” on the coming elections by vilifying food stamps. I guess “sharia law” didn’t fare too well in focus groups. Newt is sending out a strategy memo to Republicans telling them to use a “symbolic closing argument” of “paychecks versus food stamps.” Hey, why attack our problems when you can attack the people most affected by our problems? First of all, Newt, paychecks and food stamps are not at odds. A lot of people out there need both of them to get by. Newt’s memo says “It is an unassailable fact that in June, more food stamps were distributed by the government than ever before in American history.” It is also an unassailable fact that more food stamps were needed than ever before in American history. Blaming Democrats for food stamps is like getting hit by a car and then blaming paramedics for the fact that you had to take an ambulance ride to the hospital. Blame the car that hit you—and that car was driven by Republicans. Of course, underneath it all, Newt isn’t telling Republicans to attack food stamps. He’s really telling them to attack the people who receive food stamps. Food stamps versus paychecks! In other words, the poor versus the rest of us! And the people pitching this strategy are the same ones who will cry “class warfare” if we try to get the rich to pay their fair share of taxes!

Billionaire Warren Buffett: tax me, not the bottom 98 percent…

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