“President Trump gave the Republican Party a political gift: we are now the party supported by most working-class voters. The question is whether Republicans reject that gift or unwrap it and permanently become the Party of the Working Class.”
Thus begins an “URGENT” memo drafted for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy by Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, head of the House conservative bloc’s Republican Study Committee, and obtained by Axios. It’s an odd way to describe the loss of the House, Senate, and White House in the past four years, but nevertheless.
And in the grand tradition of “my ‘party of working class voters’ shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered,” it’s followed by this graphic:
So, when Rep. Banks says “most working-class voters,” what he means is white working class voters. Because Republicans may be making inroads with voters of color, but they’re still far, far behind Democrats when it comes to Latino and Black Americans.
Luckily, the congressman has a solution for that and it is CULTURE WAR.
Anti-Wokeness: Wokeness was cooked up by college professors, then boosted by corporations, which is why it’s now an official part of the Democrat Party platform. Nothing better encapsulates Democrats’ elitism and classism than their turn towards “wokeness.” Wokeness and identity politics aren’t pro-Hispanic, pro-African American or pro-LQBTQ; they’re antiAmerican, anti-women, and most of all, anti-working class.
Yeah, they’re going to shit on trans kids and scream about Mr. Potato Head. Third verse, same as the first.
Also they need to “Hug the agenda that differentiated President Trump in 2016 and supplement it with new, relevant ideas” and “tangible action items.”
You may be forgiven for wondering what “tangible action items” to support the working class are part of the GOP’s platform, what with their support for anti-union “right to work” laws, opposition to raising the minimum wage, and obsession with tax cuts for the wealthy. (With no irony, Banks pretends away both his long history of anti-union activity and his vote this month against the PRO Act, which supports the right to organize.)
But Rep. Banks spells it out: They’ll oppose immigration, both legal and illegal while screaming about the “Biden border crisis”; they’ll fearmonger about China as a “corollary of our support for working Americans”; they’ll brag about how wonderful it is when the government does nothing at all because “the free-market allows Americans to make a living and support their families without state intervention”; and of course there’s “Anti-Wokeness,” the fourth leg of this three-legged loose stool.
Exactly how any of these culture war issues amount to a “tangible action item” Rep. Banks does not say. But you do have to admire the dogged optimism of the project. For 50 years, Republicans have used racism and low taxes to paste together a coalition of pissed off white people and the very corporations outsourcing their jobs and gutting their unions. And now that the corporations are starting to tap out and direct more of their donations to Democrats, Rep. Banks wants to spin it as a beautiful gift bestowed by Dear Leader Donald Trump.
“In 2012, Wall Street contributed roughly $6 million to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and gave more than three times that amount to Mitt Romney,” Banks notes. “In 2020, Wall Street donated four times more to Joe Biden than Donald Trump. President Trump didn’t just shift each party’s role—he caused a paradigm reversal.”
See, it’s a good thing that the GOP’s traditional fundraising advantage has evaporated as corporate donors fled Trump’s erratic leadership of the party! Never mind that Democrats’ huge money haul came from middle class people smashing the ActBlue button. Rep. Banks would have you believe that the GOP can make up the difference with small dollar donations from “janitors, restaurant owners and car repairmen.”
“Once my supporters learned that liberal corporations blacklisted me because I refused to cave to their demands on January 6th, they were happy to make up the difference,” Banks gushed. “That’s how, in the first quarter of this year, I regained every penny of the $241,000 I lost in corporate money through individual donations.”
Which is adorable, really. Kevin McCarthy has to raise millions of dollars every month to keep the GOP afloat, and this doofus wants to happytalk that the GOP can jettison corporate donors and make up the difference from janitors? How high on your own supply do you have to be to actually believe that nonsense the Gippers spews on Fox about being the “party of the working man”? The Republicans’ entire economic platform is premised on the belief that if you allow the rich to gorge themselves, somehow they’ll drop enough crumbs that poor people will be able to eat.
But Banksy’s giving it the old college try. And he’s taking a none-too-veiled swipe at Liz Cheney to boot. Republicans in disarray!
There is an embittered and loud minority in the GOP that finds our new coalition distasteful, but President Trump’s gift didn’t come with a receipt. Members that want to swap out working class voters because they resent President Trump’s impact on the GOP are wrong. In fact, they are intentionally sabotaging Republicans’ political future.
The vast majority of the Republican conference doesn’t want to return to a GOP-era that neglects working class voters. Those that do are a miniscule minority in our conference, but they risk undoing the gains we’ve all made with working-class voters. That’s why their behavior should be condemned by party leaders.
Listen all y’all it’s SABOTAGE.
TL, DR? President Trump’s gift didn’t come with a receipt, you guys. So we might as well pretend this anchor around our necks is a lifeboat. A very special lifeboat which saves you by dragging you toward the seabed in the suburbs and with women voters.
What a beautiful gift, they should cherish it and hold it close to their bosoms forever. BLESS.
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