There exist some battles in American politics such that to fight them is to lose them. The Republican Party seems to have stumbled squarely into one of them — unrepentant defense of the rich. More’s the pity.
[T]he majority leader said he’s interested in sparking a “policy discussion” about the gap between the rich and the poor because “that’s what’s really at the heart of trying to figure out how we’re going to solve these big challenges.”
“It is the empathy required for those who are down on their luck and making sure that we speak to them and that the middle class in this country understands that we’ve got the leadership that understands how to deal with that, and at the same time, go about fixing these major problems,” Cantor said in the interview. “And how do you go and demonstrate empathy and how best to do that — and that’s really what that speech was about.”
Call it the first real victory for whatever we’re going to call the occupiers, a major repudiation of the Tea Party position that equality of result is irrelevant in a system of assumed equal opportunity, and continued proof that reframing any discussion of the rich/poor gap as “class warfare,” or obfuscating the issue with culture war distractions, only goes so far. We are not a civilization that entertains defense of rank and privilege for its own sake, and a Republican Party that comes too close to resembling the Roman Optimates will fail.