Presidential campaigns are full of of vapid rhetoric. Everybody knows this. Substantive policy discussions and thoughtful philosophical positions are guests forever snubbed at the $3,000 per-plate luncheons.
Yet, I can’t tear myself away from these carnivals of empty grandstanding. Why? Because, every now and then, you get to see some nudity.
That’s right. Someone always ends up naked. Or should I say something. In the stunning displays of mental acrobatics that occur when a candidate and his ilk contort their positions to fit their audience du jour, the viewer may get the rare chance to see an ideology so thoroughly undermined that it ends up…well, naked.
Take for instance this little gem from ThinkProgress:
Back in February, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign released a statement touting an endorsement from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. “I’m pleased to earn Dave’s support,” Romney said, “I look forward to working with Dave to spread my message of more jobs, less spending, smaller government.” Romney got that chance today at an event near Cleveland, OH. Introducing Romney, Yost had some sharp, yet somewhat puzzling, words for President Obama. Yost said that Obama touting his decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is like “giving Ronald McDonald credit for the Big Mac you ate for lunch.” Yost said it’s “the guy at the griddle” that deserves the credit.”
Okay, granted, a) Romney didn’t personally make the ridiculous analogy between Ronald McDonald and Obama and, b) it’s a low-blow move to equate a candidate with his supporters’ every utterance, but isn’t there something strangely Marxist about this statement? Isn’t it a rather odd position for a Republican, someone who ostensibly elevates the value of capital above that of labor, to make?
Romney’s camp reportedly distanced itself from Yost’s statements, likely to avoid the backlash that would result from criticizing Obama’s greatest military success. But as to the merits of the argument itself, hell, if that’s what Republicans believe, let me connect a few dots for them:
If the blue-collar, low income worker deserves more credit for the company’s product than the owner of capital, then:
- The blue-collar, low income worker deserves a higher (or at least equal) wage than the CEO
- The blue-collar, low income worker should, by right, organize whenever possible to obtain the best possible collective bargaining position. This doesn’t harm the business, because the blue-collar, low income worker is vitally important to it.
- The CEO, who has been enjoying record bonuses while the majority of blue-collar, low income workers have seen their incomes stagnate, should be compelled to take some sort of pay cut. Maybe Congress can think about passing some sort of financial reform bill that addresses this gross injustice.
- The blue-collar, low income worker, who is currently uninsured, really deserves some basic and decent medical coverage. Maybe Congress can think about passing some sort of health care bill that addresses this gross injustice.
How wonderful that we are all on the same page.