Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another Victory for the Glorious Revolution?

The Senate failed to get the 60 votes required to end debate (prevent a filibuster) on the "trifecta" bill. This legislation (passed last week by the House) would raise the minimum wage, but only by also providing estate tax reform benefiting the wealthiest. The vote was 56-42

The folks at Sojourners who reported this defeat of an increased minimum wage bill considered it a victory. Strange at first glance since the mag is the strongest Christian voice for politics that prioritize the poor. And they lead the way in challenging The Really Very Annoying Glorious Conservative Christian Cultural Revolution.

The "godless" Senate Democrats and a few traitorous Republicans who can still blush wanted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to a little over $7 an hour.

But they voted against bumping up the base pay for the poor because the conservatives—bolstered by The Glorious—refused to consider raising the wages of working poor people unless the wealthy got a permanent estate tax break too.

So instead of voting on raising the minimum wage rate in a 'stand alone' bill, The Glorious and their friends linked that bump up with a gift to the rich in an "all or nothing" bill. These church goers and their cynical or ideological conservative friends held a basic pay raise for the poorest of the working poor hostage to an estate tax break for the wealthy.

So the folks at Sojourners, in an apparent first in their history, applauded the likely prospect of a filibuster designed to defeat the passage of a minimum wage hike. I think I've seen everything now :^)

The Glorious Conservative Christian Cultural Revolution consistently supports conservative, Republican politicians who’ve locked in these miniscule minimum wage rates for the working poor by repeatedly blocking any increases over the past decade.

The minimum wage for unskilled American labor is $5.15 an hour. Just like it was 10 years ago. That comes out to a little over $4 an hour right now when you adjust for inflation. Reflect on that for a moment. Four dollars an hour.

So what comes next?

Very predictable.

Those Who Can Still Blush will--correctly--point out the long track record of the Glorious and Conservative re the minimum wage. They'll campaign on the issue and rely on the projected moral decency of the public to force a 'stand alone' bill to raise the minimum wage.

The Conservatives and The Glorious will try to punish the "immoral" Democrats along with the “traitorous Republicans” who broke rank on this vote in the ’06 elections. They’ll appeal to the poor by claiming that the Demos and the Traitors blocked a minimum wage increase and appeal to the rich by pointing out that the D’s and T’s blocked their permanent estate tax break. All clothed in Rovespin.

The really bent part? The Glorious pitch may just work.

Over the past 6 years it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser....


Blogger jon said...

whether or not republican strategy will work, isn't it okay to be really upset at the democrats on this one too? Since when was a compromise bill evil? A 55% estate tax seems like an odd thing to justify, and I fail to understand how allowing a cut in it would desperately hurt the poor, especially when it affects so few people.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Yes, some blame should be spread all around because everybody is angling for partisan advantage.

But the Democrats don't claim to be the righteous. They don't hold idolatrous national political conventions that are basically thinly veiled "Christian" worship services dedicated to political power. They don't base their political power on the straightforward abuse of the Christian faith. That earns 'em some slack.

I just think bumping up the earning power of the poorest of the working poor in the current American economy is obviously a higher priority than further feathering the nest of the wealthy.

Well off folks are getting wealthier and leaving behind the poor and the middle class in a unique way historically right now. Lots of reasons for that, a few of them pretty immoral.

I understand all the arguments about the private sector and why government is bad and why supply side economics is good and all the other stuff that was originally cool and important in the 60’s and 70’s but is becoming pretty tiresome now.

Important efforts at change eventually run their course and then become increasingly dysfunctional ideologies.

The current political circus pits a lot of folks holding onto really old political and social ideas that don’t work on the one hand and lots of the folks full of zeal and religious indignation holding onto newer ideas that don’t work either on the other.

But at some point you’ve got to cut through all the ideology and get back to some basics.

The fact that supposedly “Christian” Republicans would hold a minimum wage increase for the poorest of the working poor hostage to a bump up for a group of wealthy people riding one of the greatest periods of inequality in American history is outrageous. I don’t know any other way to say it.

10:17 PM  

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