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Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus apparently thinks he's a better salesman than he is. Appearing on a right-wing radio show, the Republican National Committee chair tried to sell the notion that Democrats don't really want to extend emergency unemployment aid or raise the minimum wage, they're just trying to score points on Republicans. Really. That's not a glib distillation, it's what he said:
“All of this kind of stuff is ridiculous because we’re spending all of our time actually talking and perpetrating what the Democrats actually want. They don’t want this to pass, Lars, what they want to do is they want to talk about these things, they want to talk about minimum wage and what they want to do ultimately is create a campaign issue, this sort of rich vs. poor, the same old thing they can do and avoid Obamacare. That’s what they want.”
A quick review of the facts shows that in 2007, when Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress, increasing the minimum wage was one of their top priorities; we can conclude that, after the last step increase included in that 2007 bill happened in 2009, they should have raised it again before losing the House in 2010, but you can't say the minimum wage didn't go up under Democratic control and get stuck under Republican control. Repeatedly. Additionally, while Democrats don't currently have the power to get a House vote to raise the federal minimum, quite a few blue states have raised their state minimums.

Similarly, Democrats have fought repeatedly to extend emergency unemployment aid, and so far they've won, with Republicans digging in their heels, demanding concessions, and cutting benefits in states they control. And this is an issue that used to be bipartisan!

But facts aside, Steve Benen outlines the obvious strategy if Republicans actually believe Democrats aren't sincere in wanting to extend unemployment aid and raise the minimum wage:

If this were true, wouldn’t it make sense for Republican leaders to pass the measures and undermine the Democratic plan? Wouldn’t the head of the RNC want his party [to] take the popular issue Democrats want to run on off the table?
Of course, we all know Reince isn't serious. He's just trying to fool the more gullible among the Republican base and give the right-wing media something to get worked up about. Email your member of Congress now and demand that they restore benefits to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP Logic: Obamacare is going to let's (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, BlueJessamine, Dodgerdog1, Matt Z

    repeal it before it is too late.

  •  the spin is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since the Dems didn't include it in the budget deal that means they don't really want it. Basically, the GOP thinks that if you're not willing to blow up the US economy over an issue, you must not care about it at all.

    1. Books are for use.

    by looty on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:58:41 AM PST

    •  I don't think it's spin. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't remember any valiant fight over the budget deal to include an EUC extension. We had Nancy Pelosi promising that a deal that didn't include an EUC extension would need it in a companion bill to pass the House. I was certain my Senator, Patty Murray would not let us down. Then the next thing I know, us long-term unemployed are thrown under the bus, and Pelosi, Murray, and the rest of the Democratic leadership are patting them selves on the back for getting a budget deal. Never mind that budget deal was more of a win for the Republicans than the American workers.

      Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

      by rhonan on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 09:51:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reincy's Spin Falls Flat (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats don't want to lose 240,000 jobs and very negatively impact the economy. Reincy is purposefully deluded.

      The party of 'strip the people' does want to drag their heels, hurt people in order to slow the economy to achieve their  partisan goals of hurting The President.  

  •  It is not unemployment "aid" and they're not (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dodgerdog1, Vitarai, rhonan, myboo

    unemployment "benefits." The dollars being argued about are collected for the purpose of being paid out as compensation to people who are laid off through no fault of their own. They are owed that.
    The dollars are not gifts; nor are they charity. The dollars are obligations that should be paid out as compensation.

    There is an advantage to habitual liars in lying. Lies distract people into trying to prove the truth, which is actually impossible. So, even though the lie can be proven false, the liar benefits from causing distraction and avoiding revenge action against himself.

    Fact is Republicans are dishonorable because they reneg on commitments and deliver assets from the public purse to people who haven't earned them and aren't entitled to them.
    Now, because some Congress critters have apparently discovered that industrial employers routinely lay off workers for short periods and count on these workers being compensated by the federal Treasury, instead of company coffers, these Congress critters are arguing that the whole program should be scrapped. If they were really concerned about corporate abuse and season lay-offs, then corporations which use the unemployment insurance system as a piggy bank, should simply be required to pay an extra premium into the fund. If corporations can't save for a rainy day, then perhaps they should be "helped" with a forced savings account.

    When did capitalism become a euphemism for metaphorical cannibalism? When did it vere from accumulating assets for future use to destroying their own kind?

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:11:52 AM PST

    •  Totally agree with so much you're saying. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, AlexDrew

      However, I don't know that I share much of the enthusiasm I once had for the Democrats.

      When the Democrats achieved a majority in the House, and a majority in the Senate, Jan 2007, the first thing we heard out of Pelosi's mouth was that impeachment was off the table. Second thing I heard was that the rates for Us Postal Service were going up for small businesses. Meanwhile House and Senate leaders created a sweet discount for the "Big People" like Amazon, and Time, Life Warner.

      Both parties act as though they have vested interests in being members of the One Big Money Party. The fish is rotting from the head down.

  •  This is deja vu all over again! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    This goes straight in line with the Rove strategy: accuse your opponents of your own sins!

    "Sequester was designed by Democrats" and "Obama shut down the government".

    Business as usual...

  •  For once, Priebus tells the truth. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, AlexDrew

    When Ds controlled the House, Senate and WH, they could have changed the law and prevented these ridiculous temp extensions.  It would have been easy to pass a law that amended standing law to provide for extended benefits as long as U3 was above 5%.  But they didn't do that, did they?

    Now that there's a R House, the Ds are so very strong on the unemployment issue.

    And while we're at it, the Rs are telling the truth on another aspect of this issue.  It's a fucking disgrace that unemployment is as high as it is after 5 years of a D President.  Where is a major jobs program?  I guess Susan Collins wasn't in favor of it.

    Ds are playing games as usual.  The embarrasing thing was when they controlled everything and the villian of the week had to be one of them.

    The same is true of minimum wage.  They're for it as long as they don't control both houses and the Oval Office.  Where was the emphasis on a minimum wage increase in '09 or '10?  If we put them in charge of all three, then they'll find some excuse to avoid it.

    This is all a lot of bullshit.  Very old, very tired bullshit.

  •  Proving once again . . . (0+ / 0-)

    that Rinse Prepuce is a lying scumbag.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:09:15 PM PST

  •  While (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I definitely agree that this used to be a truly bipartisan bit of governance, this "extending of unemployment" when the going gets tough.  It should be a no-brainer for anyone with any empathy in their bones whatsoever, or any common sense in their head regarding the economy.

    But please...tell me again where it's written that the majority party has to give the minority party concessions that they "demand" on behalf of their, um, minority of voters. Because you know, I am just not seeing that...

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:12:27 PM PST

  •  Jon Stewart nailed this. (0+ / 0-)

    :) the above thoughts come from a crazy mind. ;)

    by Shreve on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:14:00 PM PST

  •  Such B.S. (0+ / 0-)

    Why wouldn't democrats want to extend unemployment benefits?  I mean, even beyond the 99 weeks that was in place?  What would be the benefit for democrats if there was a reduction in people that were getting government-supplied money?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  They would then just not vote.  I don't care what anyone on the right says, democrats know that the more people that are getting government benefits, the more votes democrats get.  Left or right, this is a given.  If people want to call me a "troll" for this post, then you are people that believe as I've said here.  

    I'm fine with democrats doing this.  It furthers the "cause".  But, to deny it is just disingenuous.

    •  The Democratic Party is the one that has (0+ / 0-)

      dignified and supported the lives of ordinary people.  Unemployment Compensation Benefits are part of an insurance coverage for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.  Payments go in while they are working so they will be there when they're not working.  They are not welfare.  But the GOP treats UCB and all other social programs as welfare, except corporate welfare, of course.  Social Security, Medicare and UCB are supported by deductions from pay.  Medicare premiums are deducted from Social Security benefits.  Welfare comes out of tax money.
      Once large numbers of the population have no money to spend on their basic needs, we're all going to be screwed in one way or another.  If you own shares of your utility stock and folks stop paying their utility bills, you will lose.  If you own a small food store and people stop buying milk, bread, soup, etc., you lose.  If people have no money to buy gas to look for work... If they have no money to maintain their house next door to yours, you lose.  If they become desperate enough to break into your house and steal your stuff, you lose.  If they get caught and go to prison where you must support them, you lose.  And while they are in prison and their children must be in foster homes, you lose again.  That interconnected thing is real.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:32:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

      Turn off the Fox News.  The folks who receive the greatest amount of money from the US government, vote for republicans by significant Margins...they are called retirees, veterans, and active military.

      Mitt Romney called, he wants his 47% Schtick back.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:33:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Empty (0+ / 0-)

        You're kidding, right?  This post of yours is a joke, I'm sure.  Hey, I am as left-leaning as the next guy, but putting vets and our military in the mix goes beyond the pale.  Sad post, dude.

        •  Yep, how dare I mention the vets and (0+ / 0-)

          The military....and the seniors...I mean other than them...the folks who take the most money from the US government and yet vote republican...everything you said is completely correct.

          You said something obviously and demonstrable false, care to deal with it, or look for the fainting couch.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:56:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  PS The Spinning Vase of Doom (0+ / 0-)

      Contests your self-description.  Though I am impressed with the double-backsies  maneuver of saying anyone who calls you a troll must actually agree with you.  It makes absolutely not even a little bit of sense, but it's cool pre-emptive jujitsu.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:41:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then why didn't Ds take care of this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saucer1234, AlexDrew

      Easy to do when they had both houses.  Make extended benefits automatic if unemployment > 5%.

      Didn't do it, did they?  Didn't increase minimum wage either.

      Instead, they spent all their time making sure the medical insurance companies got their pound of flesh.

      Wake up to the realities of American politics.  Rs play games with their Christian Right and the Tea Party.  Ds play games with the Left.  Both serve the plutocrats that fund their corrupt selves.

  •  Sadly, I have heard (0+ / 0-)

    More-one-less the same argument from a few people here...that long-term UI benefits were not included in the budget deal because the corporatist Democrats don't want to extend long-term UI benefits.

    There is a reasonable argument that the dems should have held out for a UI extension in the recent budget deal, but to suggest Democrats and Obama actually don't want to extend UI benefits at all sounds just as dumb when argued here as it is when spoken by Reince Priebus

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:20:59 PM PST

    •  Judge them by what we wish they believed. (0+ / 0-)

      Not what they do.



      •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

        When they were the majority, the dems extended UI insurance.

        Later, when they weren't the majority, they took a crappy deal that didn't end the Bush Tax cuts on the rich, and about the only they got in return, was an extension of long-term UI benefits.

        If you want to talk about acts, as far as UI benefits go, they have acted.

        If you want to talk about belief, it is obvious that your beliefs are clouding your ability to see actual (f)acts.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:04:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why "extend" it? (0+ / 0-)

          They could have changed the law so that it was automatically extended if unemployment was over 5%.

          Didn't do it, did they?

          You're trapped in a their silly mindgames.

          •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure Max Baucus (the 50th vote in a filibuster free senate back then) would have voted for that, right after he voted for single payer and free orgasms for everyone.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:21:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I forgot the Ds need 90 Sen votes to do anything. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And a lunar eclipse.   And a comet.  And a party chairman who's the seventh son of a seventh daughter.


              Isn't Baucus still a Dem Senator?  Doesn't seem to prevent making it a big deal now.

              While he's pushing TPP through.

              If you want to advocate for the D party, you'll do better playing the old interest group politics.

              The lies about economic/class policies are so old and glaring that no one believes that crap anymore.

              FDR has been dead for nearly 70 years.  LBJ has been gone for more than 40.  The Ds are the party of the Clintons, Warner, Lieberman and the rest of the DLC scumbags.

              •  And warren (0+ / 0-)

                And sherrod brown, and plenty of other decent ones.  I support the decent ones, but that doasn't mean that the shitheads don't exist.

                And no, dems don't need 90 vots, they need 60 with the filibuster, 50 without it...and that's just the senate.  In th e house....

                Seriously, if you want to talk about being serious, talk about getting the 50th vote...otherwise you are talking beliefs, not acts.

                "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

                by Empty Vessel on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:02:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I like Sherrod. (0+ / 0-)

                  He doesn't strike me as yet another millionaire politician.  I hope he wakes up someday and does what some former Ds did in his own state by running as Independent Labor and winning control of their county.

                  One thing we can be sure of: Democrats will never run out of excuses to do the right thing.  Look at the Supreme Court:  Scalia, Thomas, Roberts.  Where was the filibuster then?  Look at the ACA with no public option.  Look at the lack of a jobs bill, minimum wage increase, guaranteed long term unemployment in times of high unemployment.  All of these could have been accomplished when the Ds controlled everything.  Look at the continued growth of the Security State and the Military State that's been done by the D President.

                  Lieberman, Baucus, DiFi.  Villian of the day.  How many Ds ran to dear LIeberman's defense?  Including O?  Villian of the day.  Real troopers, those right-wing Ds who save the rest of the D party from offending their donors.

                  Good cop/bad cop.  That's American politics.  One side says, "We'll fuck you over and laugh about it."  The other side says, "We'll fuck you over but be very sorry about it."

                  The public is wise to it.  Look at the drop in D identification since '08.  One hell of an opportunity blown?  Or just part of the plan?  The Ds move always to the right.  The Rs move so far right as to fall off the edge of the earth in order to differentiate themselves from the Capitalist-loving Ds.

                  And the American people get fucked.

                  We're wise to it.  Silly partisanites think the public cares about their throwing mud on each other.  We couldn't care less.  We think you're all shits.

  •  He and Walker: gun thugs from another time (0+ / 0-)

    put hoodie white sheets on them for good measure..

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 08:53:30 PM PST

  •  They get the affluenza vaccine. (0+ / 0-)

    The trade name is Argentum Coclearix, I hear.

  •  More projection from the weenie in charge of the (0+ / 0-) isn't selling though....

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