Sen. DeMint Erases Wall Street's Role In Recession To Bolster GOP Attack On Public Workers

March 03, 2011 2:09 pm ET — Alan Pyke

It's a political axiom that if you're explaining, you're losing — and a pair of powerful Republicans were pretty busy explaining why the right is going after Wisconsin workers yesterday on Your World with Neil Cavuto. Just before RNC chairman Reince Priebus' dishonest chat with Cavuto, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) was on to present the same false talking points. Each man rejected polls showing that the American people oppose Republican efforts to strip collective bargaining rights, and DeMint was adamant that "the facts are really on our side here" because bargaining "pushes states to bankruptcy."

Sharing the screen with b-roll of a union protester waving an "It's About Freedom!" sign, DeMint just kept insisting that collective bargaining leads directly to state budget problems and must therefore be eliminated.

DEMINT: Taxpayers have a right to expect their elected officials to be fully responsible for the costs of their government, the fiscal conditions of their government and what we're finding across the country is when you have an unelected third party union boss pressuring the states to continue to ratchet up salaries and benefits, that it pushes states to bankruptcy. So, the facts are really on our side, here, that the pressure from unelected union bosses is hurting the fiscal situation of the states. [...] The real bottom line is here, the states are gonna go bankrupt if they continue to operate under this collective bargaining arrangement they have now.


We've already debunked the notion that recession-induced state budget gaps should be blamed on unions rather than the bankers and mortgage hucksters who sabotaged the economy while Bush-appointed financial regulators snoozed, and DeMint's fear mongering about state bankruptcies is nothing new. Neither is his assertion that the American people's opinion only counts if you use the right-wing focus-group version of reality in your questions.

But note his desperation to change the conversation in the video above: "the facts are really on our side!" Republicans can still win "if we get the message out!" "The real bottom line" is my scary talking point! It's telling — and fascinating — that the anti-government Tea Party's de facto Senate leader is joining the GOP chairman in siding with the government and against protesters and popular opinion.

UPDATE: It's also important to remember that two leading Republicans popping up on Fox News to throw the Wall Street greed that tanked the economy down the memory hole now qualifies as political payback. After Democrats created a Consumer Financial Regulatory Board last spring, Wall Street threw its money into the GOP just as fast as it could: