Have you noticed the Republicans’ latest central talking point — evident in their multitude of goofy “responses” to the president’s State of the Union Address this week?
It’s this: America has a major problem with income inequality, the middle class is being squeezed and … wait for it … it’s all the fault — somehow, although they don’t clearly say how — of President Obama and Democrats.
Well, look who decided to show up! Republicans from Ted Cruz and Joni Ernst to Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney are all finally acknowledging the crisis-level problems America faces with economic inequality and wage stagnation, but only because they think they can somehow flip the blame onto their political opponents.
It’s their new favorite tactic. The same one that worked for them in the 2014 elections. Create a big problem and when frustration with that problem becomes widespread enough, blame it on President Obama. Leading up to 2014, the GOP on Capitol Hill was responsible for unprecedented obstruction and gridlock — very intentionally, as their political strategy. They then used Americans dissatisfaction with Washington to achieve a “change” election, which went against the president’s party, because the president’s party is inherently the one seen as “in control.”
So, after decades of pushing deregulation of rapacious corporate interests, policies favoring no rules for Wall Street, attempts to deny workers a living wage, deny people health care coverage, deny people unemployment insurance and deny opportunity to students at every level of their education, the Right is going to try to blame progressive policies and progressive leaders for the new Gilded Age that they created?
Granted, too many Democrats over the years have pursued and allowed policies that promote rather than rein in Wall Street greed, as well some other speciously labeled “pro-business” policies. But those policies never were the product of a progressive agenda, and always had much backing among Republicans.
Now, as I noted, EVEN MITT ROMNEY is on this new message … Mitt Romney, who himself is a living symbol of opulent wealth and the stark disconnect between the top 1% and the struggles of the vast majority of Americans.
Clearly, Republicans are trying out this messaging tactic as the central theme for their 2016 campaign efforts. And, based on its ongoing proliferation, we can only assume that so far it is working.
Presented with the facts, Americans are undoubtedly smart enough to see through the GOP’s latest hypocrisy. But with the vast millions of corporate special interests and billionaire ideologues fueling their propaganda machine, and a powerful media empire led by Fox News, we cannot afford to take anything for granted.
Please do your part, in your community and among your peers, to call out Republicans’ dishonesty and challenge them to articulate real solutions to economic inequality and strengthening America’s middle class.
Ted Cruz's video response to State of the Union Address: