In a column titled “Democrats get desperate ahead of Nov. elections,” which appeared in the Elmira Star Gazette on April 7, Kathleen Parker, known for her snide (slyly malicious, derisive) opinions, outdoes herself. Her target is Democrats and efforts to raise the minimum wage. Here are a few of her points:
- The Democratic “strategy” of hurling “pocket-book” legislation at Republicans that has no chance of passing (the unneeded quotes suggest a dubious strategy for advancing poor legislation).
- The minimum wage campaign is obviously an effort to bestir the Democratic base to turn out at the polls.
- Democrats get to reiterate the familiar trope that the GOP is heartless, greedy, obstructionist Party of No.
- If a minimum wage bill is passed by the Senate in the next few days, who cares? (it will die in the House since Speaker Boehner need not bring it to a vote)
- …raising wages will do more harm than good.
- If Democrats can make Republicans look nasty enough, maybe a few more single women, low income workers and minorities will turn out (to vote) in November.
There’s more, but this will do to make the point. Parker despises the idea of a minimum wage increase; one can’t help wonder why. Perhaps she is unaware that too many Americans are working for poverty level wages. Even if she has reason to believe that the minimum wage is unnecessary or is currently high enough, it is hardly obvious that others don’t have valid reasons for a different opinion. Parker’s implication that single women, minorities, and other low wage workers, whether they vote or not and whatever their plight, are of no concern is reprehensible. Parker’s writing reflects the view made notorious by Mitt Romney–that half the voters, Democrats and persons with low incomes, are undeserving takers.
Tom Reed’s view that cutting benefits forces the unemployed to look for jobs isn’t heartless? Tax cuts and welfare for the rich isn’t greedy? Boehner’s refusal to bring immigration reform and unemployment extension to a vote in the House isn’t obstructionist? The GOP reflected in Parker’s column is very much the heartless, greedy, obstructionist Party of No.
© William Hungerford – April 2014