"I know it when I see it."
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on hard-core pornography.
This week's Republican Party play on the minimum wage was so disgusting to witness, it somehow felt beyond porn. Binding the first raise for working class Americans in ten years to yet another (yet another!) tax cut for the rich was an act so naked, so grotesque, that I sincerely believe small children should not be allowed near the television when Bill Frist is on screen. Really, shield their eyes, it's that bad. According to Frist, "These issues must be addressed as a package, all or nothing," And what a "nice package" it would be too, cutting taxes on the wealthiest multi-million dollar estates. But why stop there? Why not, in a similarly wanton manner, attach a tax cut for the rich to every single bill the Senate passes? As we all know, they pretty much have already. Over the past six years the Bush Administration and the Republican House and Senate have kept the minimum wage stalled at 1996 levels while lasciviously bending over backwards to provide break after break to their illustrious "base."
Let's just isolate one small fact from the current state of tax cuts. Those in the top 1 percent income bracket got an average tax cut of $39,000 in 2006, and those with incomes over $1 million got an average tax cut of more than $111,000. Putting aside whether these cuts were fair or not, can't the Senate just give the working poor a break without using it an excuse to - yet again - indecently pander to the rich?
But this year the GOP may have woefully underestimated their voters' modesty. With gas at $3.00 a gallon, maybe the working people of America will finally notice what's going on behind the veil. Perhaps those now struggling to make payments and cover bills will look beyond flag burning amendments, same-sex marriages, and other distractions to focus on how this government's policies are truly pounding away at their bottom line. 'Cause a lot of people are feeling the pain. And come January, when these august senators have been shamed and exiled to the small minority party offices, perhaps they'll look back and see how their grossly uninhibited, salacious lust for their contributors' wealth ultimately cost them that one thing they loved most of all, power.