Has anybody else noticed that the filthy rich and their bought-and-paid-for politicians seem to have gotten a lot more blatant lately about just telling the rest of us "Screw you. We're no longer even pretending that some gift we want will have those wondrous (if elusive) trickle-down effects that will benefit you too. We're taking what we want because we can, and that's it. If you don't like it, move to France, loser!"
I mean, remember when Dubya was first trying to sell his huge tax cuts? He said—lying with a straight face, of course—that "most of the benefits go to the middle class." That's sort of been the norm for a long time: if you're a Republican trying to push some pro-rich policy, you have to at least make a token argument that you're really doing it to help the little people. That's what all the bogus crap about the rich being "job creators" is about. And sadly, no matter how fatuous your case was, you could depend on the media's obsession with false balance to make them present your argument without openly mocking it—which is all you need to cover yourself.
But we seem to have entered a new era…
Sure, we still get lectured about the necessity of coddling those job creators, but more and more, it seems like they're just throwing things out there and telling us to like it or lump it:
• Sorry, we can't afford a safety net; end of discussion.
• College too expensive? Tough—borrow a bunch of money from your parents and start a business.
• Drowning in an underwater mortgage? Hurry up and get your ass out of that house so the investor class can snap it up cheap, get your equity for free, and make a killing when the market recovers.
The poster boy for this "new callousness" is, of course, Mitt Romney, and I guess you could just write it off as the inept messaging of a staggeringly out-of-touch and tone-deaf rich guy.
But I think something else may be going on, and it's this: the Right has simply picked all the low-hanging fruit in their campaign to restore feudalism. All they've got left are things that are so egregious that there's simply no way to put a middle-class-friendly face on them. Thanks to their BFF Supreme Court, they can now buy any election they want, so why waste time even pretending to care about the 99%?
Either that, or they're waiting for an even-more-brilliant successor to Frank Luntz, who will crank out messaging miracles that will make us lambs positively enjoy our trip to the slaughterhouse.