Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Cantor's presentation was that it included a recognition that in the past Republicans have focused more on the nation's employers than employees, have talked about small business owners and entrepreneurs to the exclusion of the far greater number of Americans who don't own their own businesses.This is me, back in September 2012:
"Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else," Cantor said, according to a source in the room. "Most of them not only will never own their own business, for most of them that isn't their dream. Their dream is to have a good job, with an income that will allow them to support their family."
[E]very time Romney talks about entrepreneurs, he basically tells the other 90+percent of the country that he's focused on someone else.By the beginning of October 2012, the Romney campaign had completely dropped the "you didn't build that" line of attack. It actually polled poorly because, as I said, and as Cantor just discovered, most people aren't entrepreneurs and don't want to be.
But still, many Republicans refuse to evolve. Remember, they believe that anyone who doesn't run a business is a "moocher" or a "taker".
[E]ven now, not all House Republicans are entirely on board. "It's something that's been growing and taking time for members to get comfortable with," says a House GOP aide, "because they did spend the last decade talking about small business owners."Ironically, nothing in the GOP agenda ended up helping small business owners, as Republicans really only gave a damn about the Waltons and ExxonMobile. But even their lip service was misdirected at the wrong audience.
Now they aim to change that. With what? Talking about middle class concerns requires talking about income inequality, and how do they do that? Repealing Obamacare will reduce income inequality? More tax cuts for the rich will reduce income inequality? Banning abortion and easy access to contraceptives will reduce income inequality? Hating gays will reduce income inequality?
GOP ideology is too rigid to accommodate such shifts. Witness the RNC's hilarious attempt at "rebranding" post-2012. Cantor may yet succeed in getting his caucus to abandon their exclusionary economic rhetoric, but when it comes to concrete solutions to the economic problems of the American people, they still have nothing to offer.