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Opening Arguments

Minimum fuss

E.J. Dionne's latest column, which The Journal Gazette ran this morning, has one of the most unintentionally hilarious opening paragraphs I've seen in awhile:

The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it.

As the piece develops, he goes on and on about the "radicalism" of the "current brand of conservatism," which includes, among other things, Republican candidates "grappling with the impact of their bad-mouthing minimum-wage laws." Funny. I haven't heard of the minimum wage in ages, and here it was for the second time in less than 12 hours. The first was on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" last night, which has to get the prize for biggest reach to score political points with the Chilean mine rescue. He had the AFL-CIO president on, who suggested, after Matthews said this "was a story about how people can work together," that it's just "another example of how radical the Republican Party is becoming, do away with the minimum wage."

 How did E.J. and Chris get on the same page so quickly? Oh, that's easy:

With the midterm elections looming like a dark cloud, Democrats are scrambling around for an issue or issues with which to stem the coming GOP tide. Some of the GOP's more radically conservative candidates might have given the Democrats such an issue with their pronouncements questioning the federal minimum wage.

These tools aside, it's not exactly a new or radical idea that federal minimum wage laws might hurt some of the low-income people they are supposed to help. Even The New York Times once said so in a rare moment of lucidity for editors there:

Congress has increasingly been putting more burden on employers, like higher minimum wages or particular health and welfare benefits, as the Federal deficit has made Government financing harder. These requirements amount to a hidden tax. In the case of the minimum wage, the tax is on the jobs of those at the lowest rung.

Posted in: Uncategorized


tim zank
Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:43am

As it gets down to the wire they (dems) are reaching for anything. Not that it will matter though.

tim zank
Thu, 10/14/2010 - 3:05pm

Actually, the money line from Dionne's article was "This is a strange development. President Obama, after all, has been working overtime to save capitalism."

That's just fricking hilarious, a true "spit your coffee on your computer screen" moment.

Bob G.
Fri, 10/15/2010 - 8:34am

If Dionne had ANYTHING positive to say about ANYONE other than radical leftists, I'd be floored!

The progressives are reaching for ANYTHING (like a brass ring), as you say, Tim...
I just wish they'd "reach" a bit farther and fall off this damn merry-go-round once and for all.

tim zank
Fri, 10/15/2010 - 9:31am

Mr. Dionne lives an insular existence. He does not lead a life like the rest of us. This is all an "educated" guess on my part, but I'll bet I'm pretty close:

He's almost 62 years old, having been a highly paid columnist (my guess $150k + per year) and probably has little or no personal debt. He probably doesn't grocery shop and if he does he probably doesn't cut coupons, if he drives I doubt he has a car payment or pumps his own gas, much less looks for a station where gas is 3 cents less per gallon.

When he dines out I doubt if he pays for it. When he shops for clothes I doubt he goes to Target or Walmart.

At his stage in life, he probably has substantial savings and a comfortable disposable income. In short, he has no clue how most of America (you know, people like us reading this very blog in fly over country) lives,yet he knows that Barack Obama's trillion dollar spending, untenable debt, and government intervention, regulation and oversight is just what we need to prosper.

Gee thanks E.J., your help (and your Messiah's) is killing me.