Sometimes it’s a close question as to whether the leaders of the House are more arrogant or more stupid.
The stupidity is demonstrated by their refusal to take the two steps that could give their beleaguered members some kind of political cover as they run for reelection: lobbying reform and a minimum-wage increase.
Given their slender electoral chances, the failure of the House and Senate to pass significant lobbying reform can only be explained by a colossal arrogance and a total, druglike dependence on lobbyist favors. But the minimum-wage bill?
Nothing could so permit Republican candidates to cut the ground out from under their Democratic opponents than to pass this seminal piece of liberal legislation. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) did more to rescue the post-government-shutdown Republicans in 1996 when he let the last increase go through. The bill to raise the wage by $2.10 over three years gives Republicans a solid accomplishment, demonstrating their concern for the working poor.
Like I’ve been saying since this started, it’s a political issue as opposed to philosophical.
By defeating the increase — and even more by tying it to further estate-tax relief — the Republicans give their Democratic opponents talking points with which to beat them over the head. No American will fail to see the heartlessness in denying hardworking people a wage of $7, nor will they fail to understand the priorities of a party that will only grant this pittance to the poor if they can raise the estate-tax exemption to $5 million!
However Morris goes father than I even go:
The Republicans have got to aim their pitch for swing voters, and there is no better way of doing that than raising the minimum wage — and discarding the linkage to estate-tax relief.