Yesterday, Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor to delivery a fiery speech in defense of America's middle class... by attacking Republicans.
Reid is hardly the first Democrat to accuse the GOP of supporting "the rich" on the backs of this country's poor, but he might be the first to insert the names "Paris Hilton" and "Kim Kardashian" into the Congressional Record. Well done, Senator.
“Congressional Republicans want to lavish huge, across-the-board tax breaks on billionaire hedge fund managers and mega-rich celebrities like Donald Trump,” Reid said, complaining that Republicans would not support his tax bill which included no efforts to offset its $28.5 billion price tag. “In fact, fabulously rich so-called ‘small business owners’ like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton could qualify for these wasteful giveaways.” (...Because allowing Americans to keep more of the money they earn is a "wasteful giveaway" from the government.)
But Reid joins a growing chorus of liberals proclaiming that the GOP is the party representing the wealthy few, including Democratic strategist James Carville who's running around encouraging Democrats to preach about the "destruction of the middle class."
Stan Greenberg, a former pollster for President Bill Clinton appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to pronounce: "Class warfare does work."
"I prefer an inclusive, centered on the middle-class point of view... people want the rich to pay their fair share; they think it is a critical part of having an economy that works; having a deficit reduction plan that works; investing in the middle class," he said.
Greenberg also defended President Obama's current push to raise taxes on individuals making more than $250,000/year: "I think the president is on the right point. You would call it class warfare; we would call it common sense."
Class warfare-type arguments appeal to the lowest common denominator -- envy. It suggests a sense of entitlement to that which one did not earn. It encourages division while claiming to unite. It's a rally cry echoed by Occupy Wall Street warriors who scream about imposing "fairness." Its the progressive platform.
Although President Obama's rhetoric focuses on "millionaires and billionaires," his policies have done more harm to small business owners and members of the upper middle class than to the ultrarich. During both the Clinton and Bush years, the rich prospered... but so did middle- and working-class homeowners, business owners, professionals and skilled laborers.
But after just three years of President Obama's class warfare-driven policies, only high-end housing sales are flourishing and the vast majority of middle class and upper middle class Americans have watched the value of their dollar and property values drop. Corporate profits may be at record highs, but businesses on Main Street are barely scraping by and many have had to close up shop. So, how's that class warfare working out for you, America?
Sadly, however, the political appeal of class warfare is palpable. Ignite the class envy of the masses and they will forget how Obama's tax policies actually most penalize the professionals who voted him into office in 2008. Capitalize on divisive rhetoric and three years of failed policies are swept under the rug. But class warfare is just that -- rhetoric.
Closing question: When was the last time rhetoric ignited economic growth?
Watch the Carville-Greenberg interview below: