How Hard Can It Be?
While watching the developments in Washington and Madison this week, one can't escape the sad truth at how retrograde and malevolent the modern GOP has become. It’s nothing more than a cheap extremist thrill and an act of political necessity for John Boehner and Eric Cantor to schedule votes on large spending cuts that have no chance of ever becoming law. This isn’t about making policy, but rather making a point to please a rabid base fanned by a corporate-financed propaganda network that has no anchoring in the truth. Boehner and Cantor will soon get a chance to have that tight-sphincter moment, when they push ahead with a government shutdown in the first week of March, an act that will please the knuckle draggers but play right into Obama’s hands.
With the shutdown coming, the Democrats should be getting their messaging ready now. Given my repeated disappointment at the lack of effective Democratic messaging since I started this blog in 2003, I shouldn’t now expect Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, along with a White House that blew health care reform, to hammer the GOP into oblivion over what they’re doing in Washington, Madison, and other state capitals. But how hard is it to make the point that the GOP not only hasn’t done a thing to create jobs yet, but they are actually targeting people who already have jobs. We’ve seen no ideas from Cantor, Boehner, the Tea Party, or Scott Walker about creating jobs or any alternate ideas at all to address what the Democrats did the last two years. All we've seen are proposals guaranteed to shed jobs and lead to a contracting economy.
What we have seen is hostility at women, and those who already have jobs, whose only sin is that they are a government worker and have traded pay increases over the last decade for pension and health benefit improvements. If Wisconsin actually had a budget deficit when Walker came into office, then I would have agreed with part of what Scott Walker was trying to do. But he wasn’t doing this for budgetary reasons. He first created the deficit himself with the corporate tax giveaways he got through the legislature, and then tried to scapegoat government workers for the deficit he created. And going beyond simply addressing his phony deficit, he wants to achieve the far right corporate dream of undoing collective bargaining under the guise of blaming teachers, police officers, nurses, firefighters, and highway workers for a budget mess he created. John Kasich will try the same maneuver in Ohio.
With this as a backdrop, how hard can it really be for Democrats to have an effective counter message? The GOP is not only doing nothing about job creation, they in fact are focusing on destroying jobs and blaming those who already have them for an economic problem caused by these same Republicans. Democrats should ask the public exactly what the Scott Walker’s, the John Kasich’s, the Eric Cantor’s, and the John Boehner’s of the world were doing all these years to protect us against the financial calamity and destruction of the middle class and Rust Belt that they are now manipulating to achieve an extremist agenda.
The GOP has yet to produce one new job, or even show any interest in job creation. Their entire focus so far has been on job destruction and causing harm to achieve political ends for Corporate America and far right extremists. Democrats should ask: Is that what the last election was about?