Sometimes a “Where’s the outrage” editorial only reveals that the writer has nothing to appeal to. Dana Milbank asks, “Where’s the Left’s outrage over cuts on jobless benefits.”
Where have all the Democrats gone?
It’s hard to imagine a better gift falling into their laps: Republicans have just thrown 1.3 million unemployed Americans out into the cold and are prepared to cut off 3.6 million others who are out of work. At a time when the long-term unemployment rate remains near its highest level since the Great Depression and there are three job-seekers for every opening, this seems unusually cruel.
You don’t have to be a Huey Long to recognize that there’s an opening for populist outrage here: The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and Republicans seem content to widen the divide.
First of all, the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor because of Obama’s compliance to the Federal Reserve. It’s money creation policies enrich the richest at the expense of everyone ending the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking actually start to address the “income gap.” Jobless benefits are just a bribe to keep people cooperative with super-wealthy.
There is nothing “populist” about them.
Secondly, nobody was “thrown out” and no benefits were “cut.” The jobless benefits were temporary by design.
Third, despite the impression left by Milbank’s selective citations, there were Tea Party Republicans who wanted the job benefits extended, only demanding that the money come from somewhere else in the budget (Rand Paul for example).
But, the main problem is that Milbank’s argument that he Democrats are missing an opportunity isn’t at all convincing. Is it really credible that Democrats would throw away an opportunity to win votes?
Surely, the late Ted Kennedy, or even Paul Wellstone, would have fought the Republicans with glee. But there is no liberal lion today to give a populist roar.
You had your lion, Milbank. Whether Obama or Pelosi you, got your leadership into one of the biggest failures in the history of the U.S. government. And, in part, I think you are right that there is massive populist outrage to be tapped.
But it belongs to the Republicans (unless they throw it away). The populist roars is not going to favor the Party that robbed them of their health insurance and then forced them into serious financial hurt by making them buy more expensive policies that deliver less value.
I’m sure there are people who think they could use an extension in job benefits but who are still going to forgive the Republicans for being “wrong” on job benefits because they are right on the Affordable Care Act.