Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 22, 2010

REPUBLICANS JUST DON'T LIKE THE UNEMPLOYED, CONT'D.... The evidence continues to pile up to suggest Republican lawmakers and candidates actively dislike -- on a personal level -- those who've lost their jobs in the recession.

It's been remarkable to watch this unfold of late. One GOP congressman recently compared the unemployed to "hobos." Several Republicans have blocked extended benefits for the unemployed. In the House, GOP lawmakers tried to eliminate a successful jobs program. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) actually started pushing a measure to require the unemployed to take mandatory drug tests in exchange for benefits.

And now Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, in his infinite wisdom, wants the jobless to quit their bellyaching and "get back to work."

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has a blunt message for the millions of Americans who remain unemployed in the long-term: "Accept a wage that's less than [you] had at [your] previous job" and "get back to work."

According to Paul, the issue is "bigger than unemployment benefits" and the Tea Party-backed Senate hopeful made his position on the matter clear in an interview with talk radio host Sue Wylie on WVLK-AM last week.

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," Paul explained. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

It occurs to me that, as bad as it sounds, ultimately someone has to tell Rand Paul to accept the fact that he's a bit of a nutjob. Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.

Honestly, does this guy have any idea what the job market is like right now? Does he understand the ratio of applicants to openings? Can he appreciate what happens to a struggling family, that's desperate to get back on track, that loses meager unemployment benefits?

For the record, at 10.4%, Kentucky has one of the higher unemployment rates in the country. One wonders if the state's jobless intend to vote in November.

And in the larger sense, I continue to marvel at the Republican Party's fundamental dislike of the unemployed. It's almost as if the GOP finds the jobless personally offensive.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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REepublicans arre dysfunctional; do not want Americans to be educated for fear Americans will realize how dysfunctional Republicans are. Republicans in office need to be fired and treated the way Republican propose. Corporations keep the politicians afloat and that is why America is more dysfunctional every day. A vote for Republican is a vote for dysfunction in education, business and global affairs.

Posted by: MLJohnston on June 22, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

The more poor people there are, the more fun it is to be rich. Every rich Republican knows (thinks) that.

Posted by: slappy magoo on June 22, 2010 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Every unemployed person is a reminder of the massive failure of Republican governance 2001-2008.

Posted by: Greg Worley on June 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

hell, just retrain all thosee unemployed coal miners as nurses. or ophthalmologists. his board can certify them.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 22, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

. . . I continue to marvel at the Republican Party's fundamental dislike of the unemployed. It's almost as if the GOP finds the jobless personally offensive.

Of course the Republicans find the unemployed offensive. After eight years of Republican economic policies the United States should be a paradise where anyone who loves Jesus and works hard can be successful.

And since the Republican economic policies can't be at fault -- they were brought down from on high by St. Ronald after all -- then all these jobless people must be deliberately staying unemployed just to make the Republicans look bad.


Posted by: SteveT on June 22, 2010 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Every unemployed person is a reminder of the massive failure of Republican governance 2001-2008.

Posted by: Greg Worley on June 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Sssssh Greg. We aren't supposed to talk about what fuck ups Republicans are when they actually achieve power. Remembering the Bush years is so last decade.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 22, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

"Honestly, does this guy have any idea what the job market is like right now? Does he understand the ratio of applicants to openings? Can he appreciate what happens to a struggling family, that's desperate to get back on track, that loses meager unemployment benefits?"

He might if his name was Rand Ronsson (which is who he is). It's the old Quayle joke about Republican Right to Life: life really begins when your dad makes a few phone calls. He's never struggled for anything in his life--except to understand the irony inherent in him exhorting unfortunate sons to work harder.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 22, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody should suggest to Paul he bring on an additional administrator in his medical offices. He can report back on the number of people applying for a job who would be taking a cut from their last job.

Posted by: jayackroyd on June 22, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately corporate CEO's and bankers on Wall Street have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than they had previous to the economy they wrecked in order to get the middle class back to work and allow the economy to get started again," Paul explained. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

There. Fixed it for you Randy. (although you'd think a tea party backed candidate could have gotten it right the first time)

Posted by: Oh my on June 22, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul understands perfectly well what the job market is like. He believes that downward pressure on wages due to joblessness is how the market determines the "correct" wage level.

This is not a gaffe - it's basic Libertarianism.

Posted by: JByard on June 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Rewrite:

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to accept that I deserve a full-on, brass-knuckled cock punch to allow the economy to get started again. Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

Posted by: electrolite on June 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

ReBPublicans are the poetic backbone of the Capitalistic system . The Evolutionary arc of the rock where we stand and mock the lazy sloths . The time for those who will not accept what their betters make available to them is coming to a rapturous conclusion . A rising corporate culture culls all less adaptable cultures . A vote for ReBPublicans is a vote for infinite accumulations of wealth for hard working ReBPublicans , their servants , chattel , and whelps . Tune in soon for an Armageddon near you . Don't be the one to miss the wrath of the Plutocrats as the pure clean air of wealth disinfects the unemployed with endless easy roads to riches . Queue up for freedom at a participating restaurant or security firm near your location . Just say , "My Friendly ReBPublican Party sent me ."
Paid for by the people who do morning in America for you .

Posted by: FRP on June 22, 2010 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Oh my gets it. That the Republicans would be so brazen as to attack the jobless, who only lost their jobs because of the monumental greed of the financial industry, and not because "they're lazy", is quite a sight. Surely, the financial industry whoring came from both sides of the aisle--and efforts to mitigate the possibility of it happening again in the future are also being fought by both sides, it is clear that the Republicans as a bloc are the party of the rich.

Normally such transparent, wrong-headed hostility toward the jobless would render any mention of Republicans taking back government laughable, but we don't live in normal times. I wonder if we ever will return to sanity or normalcy again.

Posted by: terraformer on June 22, 2010 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans know that lots of 50 year old parents are never going to find another job at all let alone one that will pay enough for them to live well. Republicans are fightened that unemployment insurance will become a proxie for welfare. They would rather people starve to death than put them on welfare. Republican welfare is for rich people.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 22, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Why, the answer to unemployment is easy (as was noted above): Simply have Daddy make a few phone calls and you get a job from one of his friends.

And unemployment for women is great! These girls get to stay at home with their kids and become good mommies! And if they don't have a husband to take care of them, unemployment incentivizes them to make themselves look pretty and find a man to take care of them.

Posted by: Eeyore on June 22, 2010 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Rand Paul thinks all I need to do is take a lower-grade job and things will be well?

For starters, Target and Best Buy aren't going to hire a 40-year-old guy with a Masters in Library and Information Sciences degree to work their tech support, not when there's a just-out-of-high-school 18 year old who's going to the nearby votech community college and who won't insist on a high salary that's needed to pay off a mortgage.

Second of all, the degree I have isn't interdisciplinary enough to cover most of the job market: what do I know about being a RN or Sales representative? For the most part I have to look for librarian jobs, and with states and counties and cities - and including colleges - facing massive cutbacks because NO ONE WANTS TO PAY FOR PUBLIC SERVICES ANYMORE there's now 10-20 librarians fighting over every library job opening where there used to be just 3-6 librarians per opening. NOTE: I am attempting to get A+ Certification to open a career path in tech support, but it depends on passing the damn exams, 14 years of troubleshooting computers at the Ref desk don't cut it.

The biggest problem these Republican jerkasses represent? If they lose the job they have - by scandal, forced out of office, what have you - they've still got that clubby little circle of political friends and lobbyist buddies sitting right there with nice cushy job openings at their private firms, or a sweet book deal and talk-show circuit to pay their bills. When's the last damn time an ex-Senator ever had to stand in line at the unemployment office?!

These politicians need to lose their jobs and NOT have another 6-figure job waiting for them like always. Join the rest of the goddamn real world, you jackals!

Posted by: PaulW on June 22, 2010 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Eeyore, you have captured the essence of what it means to be the rich brat for a wealthy Republican politician. I am sure both Rand Paul and Liz Cheney would understand and approve the essential truthiness of your comment.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 22, 2010 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

You shouldn't be surprised. Republicans consider anyone who needs government assistance to be lazy and undeserving. If you are poor it is YOUR fault. If you have a mental illness it is YOUR fault. If you are unemployed it is YOUR fault. If you lose your house it is YOUR fault. If you can't afford health insurance it is YOUR fault. If you can't afford retirment it is YOUR fault. This has been central to their thinking for as long as I can remember. The only ones who deserve government assistance are those who are already rich; after all those are the ones who are successful. Losers shouldn't be encouraged or supported. Very Darwinian, isn't it? I've never understood the poor and disadvantaged who support Republicans because of social issues when it's the economic issues which really drive the party.

Posted by: enn on June 22, 2010 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

"of," not "for." I have to go to work now.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 22, 2010 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Wingnut Welfare

The Republican support system has been going on for so long that "modern" Republicans can't imagine anything else. They have a sufficient number of Daddy Warbux contributors, not to mention corporate donors, that they're pretty much swimming in a sea of money, which they're willing to spend freely to sustain the movement.

You fail in business, you get picked up by one of their "think" tanks. You get kicked out of your media job, you're suddenly an "analyst." Once on the teevee, you stay there, regardless of how bad the ratings.

If you've got influential folks, like Jonah Goldberg, William Krystal, etc etc, you don't need ability, education or talent - anything you spew out is golden.

Republicans these days can't understand that it doesn't work that way in the real world. They assume there must be something REALLY wrong with people who lose their jobs and don't automatically get put onto a 6-digit sinecure.

Posted by: Zandru on June 22, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Honestly, does this guy have any idea what the job market is like right now? Does he understand the ratio of applicants to openings? Can he appreciate what happens to a struggling family, that's desperate to get back on track, that loses meager unemployment benefits?

NO. SASQ.

Posted by: msmolly on June 22, 2010 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Rand Paul continues to astound me with his lack of political acumen. Even if he were correct (which he isn't), he shouldn't be saying such things in such a way as a political candidate.

He would be a truly appalling senator, as he is not only dim and uncaring in his ideas and policies, but tactless and clumsy in his execution.

Posted by: Sue on June 22, 2010 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Doctor Retard here can lead by example? Teabagging indeed..

Posted by: Trollop on June 22, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," Paul explained.

What the fuck does he think people are already doing - if they're lucky enough to find a job at all?

It's also bizarre that he seems to be forcing responsibility for starting the economy on the unemployed. In his mind it's not the responsibility of businesses to create jobs, it's the responsibility of those lazy fuckers to get back to work, so our economy can come back.

You hear that, you lazy lawyers, electrical engineers, laid-off executives and marketing managers? Take that job at McDonalds - we're counting on you to revive the economy!

Posted by: g on June 22, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

This morning the husband of a woman who helps me with gardening as she develops her own landscaping business will be helping as well. He's an unemployed computer guy. Last week she told me that he's so happy whenever he finds something that allows him to bring some money in during his job search. I rather suspect that the $12/hour I will pay is more than a bit less than he's used to making. So much for Rand Paul's and Orin Hatch's view of the world.

Posted by: ceilidh on June 22, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

I posted this (rhetorical) question here last week:

Do ANY of these politicians, right, left, or center, actually KNOW anyone who is unemployed?

-I thought not. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

There were 3.1 million job openings on the last business day of April 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

From the 6/8/10 JOLTS data from the BLS.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.htm

If Paul was "board certified" in math, he would see there are not enough job openings for all the unemployed.

Posted by: flyonthewall on June 22, 2010 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I've been hiring for five open technical slots for a few months now at a silicon valley company. I'm getting about 30-50 resumes a week, many of whom are really reaching in terms of their credentials. I've even had phone screens where we both sadly reach the conclusion that they just can't do the programming needed. Other people have lied outright about their contributions, and there's a clear sense of desperation in many.

It's really a horrible economy. I've been hiring in silicon valley since the mid 90s, and this is the worst, ever.

Rand Paul is a basically soulless, selfish bastard. He's not a wing-nut, per se, he just doesn't give a fuck what happens to other people. It's the GOP combination of cluelessness, arrogance, and total lack of empathy. He thinks his government-supported income is sterling proof of his qualifications and skill, and everyone else with less money is a whiny loser.

Posted by: Rathskeller on June 22, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

I have heard of Doctor FeelGood , I believe R. Crumb was the first to publicize his adventures . I look forward to the series of Doctor Retard as a bookend to the unique FeelGood .
Trying to recall the politician who was bumping shoulders with the hoi polloi (New Hampshire?) only to be humiliated when some wretch wanted a dollar estimate for a gallon of milk . It is tempting to think of the troikia of Bush and Quail , who had no problems pairing up in three's as the hapless demagogues who hoisted empty headed words in what appeared to be at the time as homage to Doctor FeelGood . It may have been the walk across the state Lamar Alexander's lumber jacket that was guilty of the absence of mind .

Posted by: FRP on June 22, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Has Rand taken the same "tough love" approach towards the medicare reimbursement "doc fix"?

Posted by: Ian on June 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

It's not just the unemployed; Republicans don't really have much use for the middle class except when they need to stoke up anger about wedge issues like abortion, gay rights, or religious "freedoms" in order to round up enough votes to get re-elected, from a herd of sheep willing to vote against their own best interests.

Posted by: qwerty on June 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

"It's almost as if the GOP finds the jobless personally offensive.

ALMOST??? C'mon, this is Calvinism 101 - the bedrock of "conservative" thought: wealth and power are the visible manifestation of God's grace, and if you loved God just a BIT more (or vice-versa), then you'd be powerful/wealthy/employed, too.

And if not, well, it's God's Will: sucks to be you, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jay C on June 22, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Obama feels the same way as Rand. Got to lower that unemployment rate!

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

It's almost as if the GOP finds the jobless personally offensive.

This is true. On a visceral level that they don't want to admit exists, Republicans hate the unemployed because the fact of their existence is the proof that the Republican world view doesn't work.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 22, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Tell Rand Paul, 50% of whose income is from Medicare & Medicaid, to give that money back now! And put his money where his very stupid mouth is.

Posted by: jjm on June 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Rand has a pretty ballsy attitude for someone applying to get a Federal job with a $174,000 paycheck.

Posted by: biggerbox on June 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

One wonders if the state's jobless intend to vote in November.An alarming percentage of them will, you can be sure of that.

They're desperate.

He's got answers. They're wrong, but hey, he's got answers.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 22, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

"It's almost as if the GOP finds the jobless personally offensive."

Well, they do. The unemployed are a daily reminder to GOP politicians of how they ruined the economy by their ideology, and in particular how deregulation allowed banks to run wild and destroy the job-market. How THEIR deregulatory schemes allowed mortgage lenders to destroy the housing market, and nearly bring down the entire economy into a depression.

So, yeah, GOP politicians hate the unemployed, because the unemployed remind them that they've been wrong about everything, and that they would be the first in line for Madame Guillotine, should it ever come to that.

Posted by: LL on June 22, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"I've never understood the poor and disadvantaged who support Republicans because of social issues when it's the economic issues which really drive the party." It is because they believe the Republican line that if they just work harder and get government out of the way, things will get better. They believe it is the others who are taking their hard earned money. They believe that there are lazy people who are sitting back and drawing a check from their taxes. They don't know they are stuck. They don't know they are being used. And they are suspicious of anyone whose "values" are different from theirs. That is why it is so important to paint Obama as an "other".

Posted by: Vicki on June 22, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

This from the party that stands on the capitol steps and proclaims that Obama doesn't 'get' it and it's 'all about JOBS!' Uh....WHAT jobs? Oh I know, go vote to add a few thousand more H1-b visas....

Posted by: SYSPROG on June 22, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I cannot help but be struck by the following point: In the 1980's, the modern incarnation of the Republican Party rose to power by overtly demonizing the poor with the stereotype of the lazy "Welfare Queen," and millions of middle class Americans went along with it because they weren't poor enough to be on Welfare. Today, the Republican Party is attempting to get back into power by overtly demonizing the unemployed with the stereotype of the lazy slacker who would rather live off unemployment than even try to get a job. And millions of middle class Americans are going to go along with it because they aren't currently unemployed. There's a poem by Martin Niemoller I'm trying to remember. How did that go again?

Posted by: Alan on June 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Republican lawmakers and candidates actively dislike -- on a personal level -- those who've lost their jobs in the recession.

It goes deeper than that - they actively dislike people who work for a living in the first place.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on June 22, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Are the CEOs and investors etc. also supposed to accept wages and/or returns lower than what they got before? And yes, Roddy is spot on - for all their bitching about lazy bums, they love to make money in ways that create no new net value, such as just buying and reselling at profit, financial manipulation, rent via ownership privileges, etc.

Posted by: Neil B on June 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

The unemployed truly are the "small people" to the ReBPublicans. (That Swedish BP guy got it right, even though that's apparently not the word he meant to use.)

However, let's not limit it to the unemployed; there are plenty of "small people" to ReBPublicans who are working, two examples: miners at unsafe mines (due to no oversight thanks to bush), and Gulf fishermen, out of work because of the oil blow out, made to work cleaning up the oil without proper safety gear, or be fired. Should we include all of the teachers, police, etc. who will be laid off if more federal funds aren't allocated to the states? In turn affecting children & their families, and public safety? Heck, we're all "small people" to these as*hats.

Oh My: perfect.

Posted by: Hannah on June 22, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Crooks&Liars has a video up that all yof you should see:

Sharron Angle: Unemployed Workers are Lazy Welfare Queens

Posted by: Sammy on June 22, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Lets see the DNC run commercials entitled, "what should they eat?"

Lets see someone FUCKING ask FUCKING Ron Paul what people whose unemployment insurance (not a benefit but something people pay into) ends are supposed to do for food?

Go on Welfare?

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on June 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Rand gains significant income from Medicare. He is willing to advocate that workers take paycuts, but is willing to exempt cuts in Medicare payments to doctors which would decrease his own income. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Posted by: KJ on June 22, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

The unemployed are offensive to Republicans because they don't have he means to make political donations.

Posted by: Ken on June 22, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Somewhat shorter Rand Paul: "If jobless Americans would simply take the jobs that Americans aren't willing to do for less-than-subsistence pay, we wouldn't have the problem of illegal immigrants coming to take those jobs."

Posted by: TG on June 22, 2010 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

The brass balls on this repug! First, his corporate masters make pensions obsolete, nearly destroy the economy that ruins everyone's 401k, take away the jobs of millions, deprive them of any unemployment benefits, and then when these people are literally driven into the rolls of Social Security in order to survive, these right wing SOBs are now talking about slashing Social Security!

This isn't mere Class Warfare being waged by the filthy rich. This is a deliberate, connect-the-dots plan for Class Genocide!

Posted by: MiHi on July 13, 2010 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

well i am a conservative and support conservative policies

Posted by: RICH on August 26, 2010 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK
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