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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Republicans' Jobless 'Jobs Agenda'

Republican press conference
If you want a great example of how the Republican Party's reduced itself to empty talking points, consider their argument that government doesn't create jobs. It's obviously untrue on so many levels, but they keep saying it because the chumps keep buying it. They almost always immediately contradict themselves by talking about all the ways they think government could create jobs. Pet projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, cutting taxes, reducing regulations, etc. will all create a great big jobs avalanche, we're told, if only government would get around to creating all those jobs that they also argue government couldn't possibly create. And lets not forget that all of these people are either drawing a government paycheck or competing for a government job.

But the idea that government can't create jobs becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy with Republicans. They get into government and block measures that would increase employment. And that's when they aren't calling the shots. When they are calling the shots, all that stuff they talked about on the campaign trail and Fox News goes out the window. When Republicans are in power, it becomes time to pay off narrow constituencies that helped get them elected. These payoffs have absolutely nothing to do with jobs, mind you, but good governance was never really the point. The point is a corporate anarchy they wrongly refer to as "free market capitalism" -- and a Republican majority to protect that anarchy.

Since you don't achieve anarchy by passing laws, Republicans become obsessed with trivial busy work. You repeal what you can, hamstring this or that agency when the opportunity arises, but mostly you dick around with inconsequential BS that throws a bone to those narrow constituencies.

Steve Benen:

With Congress' approval rating reaching depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling, self-interested lawmakers should probably focus at least some of their attention on addressing actual problems.

House Republicans apparently disagree. In 2010, the GOP majority invested considerable energy in tackling imaginary threats (killing farm-dust regulations, protecting the "In God We Trust" motto); picking unnecessary culture-war fights (restricting abortion rights, going after NPR); and pursing right-wing measures that couldn't become law (replacing Medicare with a voucher scheme).


Benen goes on to point to a piece of English-only legislation introduced by the always disappointing Rep. Steve King. House Republicans promised a "jobs agenda." In September of last year, Eric Cantor told us, "We have got to be focused like a laser on growth." Today, we're dicking around with nativist legislation that has no hope in hell of ever becoming law. And everyone doing that dicking around knows it.

In case you think this is a species of Republican native only to Washington, here's another example from the wild:

Associated Press:

Wisconsin Republicans say they're focusing squarely on jobs this year, but numerous proposals that advocates say are part of an anti-reproductive rights agenda are working their way through the Legislature and could soon head to Gov. Scott Walker for approval.

Those measures range from changes in the state's sex-education curriculum to weighing in on the national debate over when life begins.

Democratic opponents and others say the bills speak to an anti-woman agenda that will only sidetrack lawmakers at a time when they're trying to improve an economy where jobs have been lost for six-straight months.

That's right, six consecutive months of job losses -- the worst job creation record in the nation -- and the Wisconsin legislature is focused on the unspeakable evil of women making their own health choices and of high school kids knowing that condoms exist.

The bottom line here is that Republicans don't care about anyone other than the 1%. And the 1% is doing just fine. So why would you change anything? A bad jobs market for workers is an awesome jobs market for employers, because the laws of supply and demand drive wages down when there's this much competition for every position. Profits are high, wages are low, positions are filled in a heart beat -- why on earth would you want to change anything?

You wouldn't. So you screw around with official mottos and politically-correct languages and sex ed in schools. Busy work that throws a bone to the single-issue chumps who keep voting for you. Citizens United may have made corporation into people, my friend, but they aren't people who vote. Throw the dopes an ultrasound requirement or a measure to fight the encroaching evil of the Non-English Menace and they'll come back for more. You don't ever want to solve these perceived "problems," because the single-issue voter goes away when their single issue has been resolved. You string them along with "steps in the right direction," to give them the impression that their issue is about to become a major legislative focus -- unless those evil Democrats get back into power.

It'd be a shame if you didn't vote GOP when they're so close to solving abortion/gays/people-who-aren't-white-or-Christian. And once they get all that squared away, Republicans will get right to work on all those jobs we argue that government can't create.


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