Republicans like to cite a quote of John F. Kennedy — "A rising tide lifts all boats" — as a metaphor to describe the benefits of the trickle down economics. So long as the economy grows, the argument goes, then everyone benefits.
But then I read this, an article by Steve Benen on Rachel Maddow's blog, about the opposition to the minimum wage by Senate candidates in Missouri, and I saw a dangerous implication in "a rising tide lifts all boats."
Indeed, the fact that U.S. Senate candidates would have no qualms about standing against the existence of a minimum wage is a reminder about how far the Republican mainstream has shifted. It's no longer unusual for statewide GOP candidates to oppose the minimum wage, child-labor laws, the existing structure of Medicare and guaranteed benefits, restrictions on torture, collective bargaining, and unemployment benefits.Every policy that makes it harder for someone to succeed in life — from underfunding schools to making college more difficult to afford to keeping health care out of financial reach to gutting workplace protections to making it more difficult for someone to earn a living — amounts to sinking the boats of millions of Americans. The policies promoted by Republicans are like cannonshot through the hulls, and when the tides of prosperity rise, those hulled boats won't float. They won't even move. They'll be stuck on the sand, and the water will rush over them, leaving their owners to drown in the oncoming tide.
Here's what I want to know. Why are Republicans waging war on the American quality of life? What's their endgame? No tide will lift a boat whose hull has been shot through by the cannonballs fired by the Republican Party.
That's worth keeping in mind.