I have seen so many Republicans promoting this idea that the Democratic Party has lost touch with its working class roots, that they actually seem to believe it. [They also seem to believe everyone from JFK to Martin Luther King Jr. would be a Republican now, and that even FDR would somehow struggle to belong in a Democratic Party that they also, paradoxically, believe is “socialist.”]
It’s true that Republicans have been very effective at rebranding themselves “the party of the working class” without actually doing anything to demonstrate that. Naturally, I thought I’d compile an incomplete list of actual reality during the Biden administration…
—Stimulus checks: Democratic supported and passed…Republicans still promote the ludicrous idea that the 3rd stimulus checks are why inflation is so bad (yes, because most people can live off $2K for over 2 years…so logical). Not one congressional Republican voted for the third stimulus.
—Democratic House passed a bill to prevent oil/gas companies from price gouging…Not one House Republican voted for it.
—Infrastructure bill promising big public works projects and millions of construction jobs to institute them…Only a few senate Republicans voted for this.
—Republicans were willing to create economic collapse (the debt ceiling fight) to defund the IRS…This matters for the working class because the current IRS has admitted they don’t have the resources to audit rich people, only middle/working class people.
Kevin McCarthy pretended to care about the deficit, but was so beholden to rich creeps (campaign donors) that he was determined to help them avoid paying taxes. The IRS takes in $8 for every $1 they spend, so gutting them makes no sense if you’re trying to lessen the deficit.
—Student loan forgiveness… Yes, this matters for the working class because inherited wealth kids don’t need student loans in the first place. Members of the “working class” (a vague category that could mean a construction foreman who actually makes a lot more money than a teacher) use college to advance in their fields and/or for mandatory retraining like cops, factory managers, shift supervisors, or nurses. This is very much in line with Pell grants or the G.I. Bill—two incredibly successful, upwardly-mobile programs from the Democratic Party.
—Build Back Better…Same as the infrastructure bill, this increases American jobs, but Republicans killed it.
—The U.S. Chipmaking Act…Same, and Democratic pushed with only minimal Republican support.
—Biden has heavily prioritized unions, such as the EV tax-credit for union made electric cars. [This so infuriated Elon Musk that his hatred of Biden has partially led to his extreme right-turn.]
—Democrats have prioritized 100s of bills for working class programs that can’t get off the ground, such as Universal Pre-K or baby bonds or a public option…Republicans have killed them, and prioritized a repeal of the inheritance tax.
—Republicans have tried to repeal “Obamacare” to the point of insanity, and some major candidates for 2024 are openly running on a proposal to end social security (like Nikki Haley). Ending Social Security would be particularly devastating to the current working class—as in people who actually have jobs and aren’t retired—because so few millennials have a pension.
Probably I could write a dozen more things, but this is in the Biden administration alone, and not some distant-Democratic party of FDR’s day. As you can see, the core priorities of the Democratic Party haven’t actually shifted much.
It’s also completely hypocritical for Republicans to say stuff like this at a time when they scream “Socialist!” at Democrats, and are adamantly saying they will block Biden from actually doing anything on the price gouging we’re seeing today.