Monday, January 28, 2008

Framing for the dupes

I've had this for almost two weeks, and every time I looked at it, didn't know if I should laugh or cry.Well, I finally figured it out--now when I see it, I'm pissed.

Re-printed from Think Progress (1/16/08)

Bachmann: I’m ‘Proud’ That ‘We Have People Working Two Jobs’ And ‘Longer Hours’


Topping Congress’s agenda as it returns this week is a plan to “jump-start the economy and try to shorten the slowdown that many economists say has already begun to take hold.”

Today, Rep. Eric Cantor (VA), the chief deputy Republican whip in the House, unveiled his proposal to stimulate the economy. His legislation — the so-called Middle Class Job Protection Act — does nothing for the middle class. Instead, it reduces the corporate tax rate by 28 percent.

At a press conference today unveiling the stimulus proposal, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) justified the conservative plan to give tax breaks to corporations — instead of working Americans — by arguing that people actually like working long hours:

I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.

Bachmann’s version of the American Dream is apparently working two full-time jobs and struggling to get by.

Yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that corporate tax cuts, such as the one proposed by Cantor, “may be less cost-effective in the short term” and less effective than a stimulus plan consisting of “tax rebates, extended unemployment benefits and a temporary increase in food stamps.”

Bachmann may be taking her cues from her bosom buddy President Bush, who on Feb. 4, 2005, told a divorced mother of three: “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”

The name of the bill, The Middle Class Job Protection Act, is another masterpiece of Republican naming and framing. They have a gift for naming legislation to imply that it is intended to do the exact opposite of what it really does. The Help America Vote Act flies to mind as another example. The hypocrisy is infuriating, because it is so hard to see through for some people, who will assume that the Republicans are helping them and will unthinkingly support everything they do. These same dupes and gulls would support a Republican bill called "The Taking Care of Our Elderly Act"even if it called for the summary execution of everyone over 65 (unless they're rich).

The other thing that gets to me, aside from the corporate giveaway, is the absurd statement by that ditz from Minnesota. Do you know anybody-- anybody at all-- that likes to work two jobs, or three, to make ends meet? Do you know anyone in that situation that thinks it's a good thing? And yet the Republican base, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed, will nod robotically in agreement with her without giving it a thought. They will never consider why it should be necessary to work longer and longer hours to scrape by, and that's the most disheartening thing of all.

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