So at some point, for some reason that eludes me, someone invited Rick Santorum to speak and voice his critique of why the Republicans lost the presidential election last year. Here’s a wonderful little gem that Santorum came up with:
“One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”
My initial reaction to that statement was to laugh. In fact, I offered the following thoughts on the subject in a comment over at Shakesville:
Rick, Rick, Rick, I’d love to agree with you. There’s just one problem. If the GOP suddenly started talking about how important factory workers, janitors, servers, and other such people are to building the company they work for, those people might start wondering why the GOP keeps doing things that let their bosses pay them such lousy wages and do other things to screw them over.
I mean, seriously, we’re talking about a party who has been been carrying water for powerful executives. This is the party that keeps telling us that those executives are the most important people in the world, who keep the businesses they run and therefore the whole world running. Of course they’re going to keep parading executive after executive. If they started talking about the importance of working class people — people that the Republican party refuses to protect by raising the minimum wage to something people and even families can live on — it would undermine that message faster than you can say “trickle down economics don’t work.” (Granted, I will be very surprised if I ever hear a Republican utter that particular phrase.)
You can’t parade a janitor across a stage and talk about how important his contribution to building a company or keeping it operational (and make no mistake about it, that contribution is of incredible importance) while insisting that it’s okay to pay him barely enough (if he’s lucky) to keep his family out of poverty while simultaneously offering his CEO gets bonuses, golden parachutes, and tax breaks. At least not without causing a lot of people to experience cognitive dissonance. Or figure out what utter bullshit you’re trying to peddle.