In modern day America, the idea that a party would hold power in the House for forty years is almost alien. It is impossible to conceive of this given modern party dynamics. Yet, the Party of Lincoln is about to make the exact same mistakes that led to that result. This morning Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said this according to the New York Times:

“The obligations that they would undertake — say borrowing from a bank or credit union — are in effect federally guaranteed,” Mr. Ross told CNBC on Thursday morning. “So the 30 days of pay that people will be out — there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it and we’ve seen a number of ads from the financial institutions doing that.”

He also said he did not understand why these workers were reaching to food banks and other public assistance to make ends meet.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called this a let them eat cake moment. While the speaker and many in her caucus could afford to miss a paycheck or two, it is obvious they at least remember when they could not.

Ross is not the only one to say things like this. Lara Trump said that missed paychecks are a necessary sacrifice. Future Americans would thank present workers who are about to lose cars, homes and credit ratings I suppose. Maybe becoming homeless is a sacrifice worth making.

What do both of these people have in common? A missed paycheck is not something they would notice. Especially one at such a low level as those rank and file workers who live paycheck to paycheck. Both Trump and Ross are shielded from the real economy due to their net worth. They do not get it.

Larry Kudlow went so far as to say these workers were volunteering. While he is not in the same economic club as Trump or Ross, he is also independent of the street level economy. He could afford to lose a month or two of federal pay. Interests in his investments will make up for that.

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This attitude from administration members is showing how callous the extremely wealthy are. They are also demonstrating that they simply do not get it. It is as if these people believe that they are insulated from the realities of history. Marie Antoinette did not fare well when she reportedly said: “let them eat cake.” In case these three need the reminder, she literally lost her head in the end.

However, this is not just limited to three people who should know better than to at least voice these thoughts. After all, they could afford a world-class education where I would hope the French Revolution was covered. Even the cartoon version of it has that iconic moment, followed by the guillotines. This is a political party issue. Republicans work for the rich and could care less for the poor and middle class.

They had a similar attitude when Herbert Hoover was president and had no issue about Hoovervilles rising or the need for soup kitchens. They did howl like wounded animals when Democrats did something about it and passed safety net legislation. They were taxed, the horror, I know.

The result was that for many people who lived through the Depression Franklin Delano Roosevelt became a powerful symbol. Here you had a president, from a well-heeled background, who cared for the common people. He also had a touch for their needs.

He also got a Congress that passed legislation to help the people. Granted, we need somebody like FDR and similar policies at this moment. However, the optics right now are not that dissimilar to those of the Great Depression. It matters little how much Republicans try to say the Democrats are responsible for the shutdown. The president said he would be proud to own it, and polling has gotten far worst as far as the president and his party are concerned.

However, this is also showing people who might have been on the fence, why Republicans are not a party that cares for the needs of the people. Nor do they care about national security, as much as they claim they do. The agencies that were targeted for the shutdown are frontline agencies who’s mission IS national security. It is hard to spin this, even if many in the national media help Republicans with this, by trying to make this about who’s ahead in this fight.

Air traffic controllers are telling us it’s a matter of time before the system collapses. Rumors are growing that TSA workers may just walk off the job because they cannot afford to stay on the job. They are not volunteers. The Coast Guard may have to pull ships and cutters in from Patrol duty. It is just a matter of time for the Secret Service Protective Detail to have to take desk duty. I wonder if the Marines will take over protective duty at the White House?

The economy is taking a very real hit.

Why? A campaign promise based on a dystopia that is not even real. I live by the border. I happen to live in one of the safest cities in the United States. Border communities are consistently among the safest in the country. And yes, there is immigration from Mexico, but migration rates are in negative numbers, meaning MORE Mexicans are going home than coming to the United States.

The base, which is starting to crack as well, wants this wall. Quite frankly, it is racism at play, and people in places in the middle of the country are afraid of a crisis that simply does not exist. It’s time to open the government. And perhaps, we will see another 40 years of Democratic majorities. We are not quite to the depression era point. But as days become weeks, and we are about to enter the second month…those impressions are getting entrenched.

To use a term chamber of commerce Republicans will understand, the Republican brand is now quite tarnished.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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