Friday, February 09, 2007

Let me tell you bout hard work

In what seems like a good ol' Amurican sense of decency, Mark Krikorian writes at The Corner:
According to a congressman's wife who attended a Republican women's luncheon yesterday, Karl Rove explained the rationale behind the president's amnesty/open-borders proposal this way: "I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas."

There should be no need to explain why this is an obscene statement coming from a leader in the party that promotes the virtues of hard work, thrift, and sobriety, a party whose demi-god actually split fence rails as a young man, a party where "respectable Republican cloth coat" once actually meant something. But it does seem to be necessary to explain.

Aw, how sweet, how earnest. how . . . full of crap.

First, I'm not sure who the demi-god is, couldn't be Lincoln. The Republic'n Party today is 180ยบ out of phase with the party of the 1860's, so get off it.

Second, today's party "promotes the virtues of hard work, thrift, and sobriety"? As a shining paragon of all 3 values, I present the current demi-god, GWBush. That's right, sit down and shut up.

If they cared about hard work, there would be some attempt to help, you know, workers. And thrift in the form of booming national debt and tax cuts for The Donald hardly seem thrifty. And sobriety? Well, if they're not talking about drinking, the sober assessment of the Iraq invasion doesn't stand too much scrutiny.

And in re: workers, Mark Kleiman has this gem:

I'm with Brad DeLong: dissing people who do tough, low-wage jobs is rude. He's right to say that if GM and Nationwide think that doing so is a good way to appeal to Super Bowl watchers, we're way too far down the road to the Second Gilded Age. With any luck, we'll get to look back on the elections of 2006 and 2008 as the moment when the country decided to switch course.

But to be fair, it's not only big corporations that add insult to injury by making fun of the people in MimimumWageLand and the essential jobs they do. How many speeches have we all heard, and how many columns have we all read, deploring the economic trends that replace good jobs with "dead-end, burger-flipping" "McJobs" paying "chump change"?

If you had to flip burgers for a living, how would those speeches make you feel? And if you were a recent high-school dropout deciding between McDonald's and one or another street hustle, how would the image of McDonald's workers as losers — as carried in your own mind and in the minds of those around you — influence that choice?

So let's watch what we say, all right?