GOP’s War on the Poor Is an Opening for Dems

So conservatives are trying again to cut food stamps for the poorest people in America. This time, Paul Ryan wants to eliminate $23 billion in food stamps to recipients who are in school or training for a job—in other words, people who are trying to better themselves and become financially independent, so they won’t need food stamps.

Meanwhile, Trump’s lackey Chris Christie is trying to pull another food stamp outrage in New Jersey

What is it with the Republican Party and their obsession with making life even harder for people in poverty? These never-ending indignities they visit on the poor have to become a campaign issue for Democrats (and they will continually crop up between now and Election Day). Conservatives around the country need to be confronted on the campaign trail with this kind of mean-spiritedness.

The message should be:

  • Proposing to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting food stamps for the poor is literally immoral.
  • Their proposals are an affront to:
  • This is not what great nations do.

Americans have an acute sense of fair play, and continually calling out conservatives on values issues like these will resonate with a broad constituency, including independent and even moderately conservative voters. This message incorporates at least 3 of the 7 Winning Messages: American exceptionalism, fighting for the underdog, and faith and values. Anecdotes like these will add to the growing narrative that conservatism is an angry, cold-hearted philosophy unfit for a great nation.


  • Democrats have to run values-based campaigns; we can’t just talk about topics.
  • We have to run against conservatism; not just specific opponents.We must universalize our arguments against the GOP and delegitimize the very foundations of conservative thought, as Republicans did so effectively against liberalism.
  • We must continually send the message that Democrats are the true party of the people.

Yet More Proof That Republicans Are Not Your Friends

Here’s a small news item that passed virtually unnoticed last week, but it could be an effective bit of ammunition against Republicans on the campaign trail: House Republicans voted unanimously for a resolution against a new Department of Labor rule that financial advisers have to be honest with people planning for their retirement. The DOL rule says advisers have to act in the best interests of their clients, and not steer them toward plans that don’t meet their needs.

Sure, it’s pretty “inside baseball,” but if told in the right way it could be a powerful demonstration to voters of where Republican loyalties lie.

For example, what would happen if a Democratic candidate told this story to an audience of swing voters?

“Republicans keep saying they’re on your side, but they’re not, and they never have been. Here’s a perfect recent example that you probably didn’t hear about, but it shows exactly who conservatives are really fighting for.

A lot of people planning for their retirement have been getting bad advice from financial advisers who try to sell them plans that the advisers get commissions on but aren’t really in their clients’ best interest. The advisers are recommending plans that benefits them and their financial company, not the client. The Obama administration estimates that people are losing $17 billion every year because they’re being advised to buy more expensive financial products than they need to.

So the Department of Labor passed a very sensible rule that said financial advisers must act in the best interests of their clients. And guess what? Republicans tried to block the rule! The House of Representatives passed a resolution to override the regulation. Republicans voted unanimously to continue letting financial companies give bad advice to people planning their retirement. Democrats voted unanimously against it. And it’s only because of President Obama that the resolution was vetoed.

Every time—every time!—Republicans have a choice between supporting average Americans or big business, they always choose big business. Think of all the other ways they’ve sided with the rich and powerful over regular Americans:

  • Democrats want to enforce the Dodd-Frank banking reforms following the Great Recession. Republicans want to weaken them.
  • Democrats passed the Credit Card Act and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect you from the worst abuses of the credit and financial industries. Republicans sided with the finance industry.
  • Democrats created a health care program for people who can’t afford health insurance. Republicans want to take insurance away from millions of people, with nothing to replace it.
  • Democrats support unions, so workers have a voice in the workplace. Conservatives are trying to destroy unions.
  • Democrats want to raise the minimum wage. Republicans oppose it.
  • Republicans tried to repeal the inheritance tax for people who inherit $5.4 million or more. Democrats oppose more tax cuts for the wealthy.
  • Democrats are fighting for paid sick leave for all workers. Republicans side with business and oppose it.
  • Democrats kept the internet fair and equal for everyone. Republicans wanted to make people pay for better service.

Why would any American worker think conservatives are your friends? They’re on the side of people who are already rich and powerful, not you. If you’re a moderate or independent voter, you may want to seriously reconsider who you’re voting for, and why.”