Sunday, September 19, 2010

Republican Strategist Wants to Push Down the Middle Class

Is it my imagination or are Republicans giving each other a lot more crap then they usually do? Tea Party candidates Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle have been getting flack from establishment Republicans and last Thursday on the Fox Business Channel, former GOP Senator Al D'Amato ripped into Republican strategist Jack Burkman for being a "nasty racist." The exchange came in a discussion of what to do about the Post Office after Burkman commented that "most of these guys working in the Post Office should be driving cabs, and I think we should stop importing labor from Nigeria and Ethiopia. That's the skill level." D'Amato called this "racist bullshit" and suggested that Burkman have his mouth washed out.

While I agree that Burkman is a racist, I was even more interested in what he had to say when the host offered him the last word on the subject:

If you want to have the debate, the reality is that many in the American quote-unquote middle, like postal workers, are really unskilled labor who should have been pushed down for market reasons but because of union and government pressures, we import labor at the bottom and we keep these people here. That’s a very true statement.
Burkman doesn't think that postal workers or tax drivers belong in the middle class.  They shouldn't aspire to jobs with which they can support their families or jobs that offer health care or jobs that offer the potential to retire in anything other than abject poverty.  They especially shouldn't expect to find such jobs mooching off the government.   The middle class and above should be reserved for people who contribute something valuable to society such as lobbyists like Burkman who petition the government for favors on behalf of wealthy clients. 

When I "googled" Burkman after watching this clip, I was mildly surprised not to find an interview in which he discussed the profound effect that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged had on him as a teenager.  I suspect that he read the book and loved it.  I was interested to find him on a list of "Top Christian Activists" as a result of his lobbying efforts on behalf of The Family Research Council.  Apparently pushing people out of the middle class is in no way inconsistent with Christian family values.

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