I just love it when a Republican candidate who is currently serving in Congress explains why Republican policies fail. Lindsey Graham did it twice on CNN's State of the Union this morning.
First, when asked about Ted Cruz, Graham criticized his decision to shut down the government over Obamacare, saying it "hurt our party." He also intimated that Cruz doesn't have the temperament or experience to bring about consensus on policy issues.
He begins by blaming Hillary for everything that's wrong in the Middle East, as though she was a puppetmaster while serving as Secretary of State. When he gets to domestic policy, he just falls right off the talking point train and goes on about non-issues while ignoring the harm conservatives have done to our economy not only on the federal level, but also on the state level.
Watch for yourself and tell me if you agree. His mouth is moving and he's saying things that are supposed to be against President Obama and Secretary Clinton, but he's really slamming the conservative policies that have slowed our economic recovery.
"Her fingerprints are all over Obama's failed foreign policy," said Graham, "And she was there for President Obama, selling Obamacare and his domestic policy, selling Obamacare better than he did."
Uh, no. She wasn't. She was being Secretary of State, and therefore barred from speaking or "selling" anything. He's thinking of Bill Clinton, I think. Of course, to Lindsey, they're the same.
Then he heads into economic policy, where he implies conservative policies have failed the middle class. I'll let his words speak for themselves.
"Her definition of poverty is probably different than most people's definition of poverty. She said that her [sic] and Bill Clinton basically were flat broke and impoverished after they left the White House. I think most Americans understand, that's not flat broke."
Dana Bash then turned to the questions of income inequality and stagnant wages. This is where it gets good.
Graham replied, "The middle class is getting screwed by the Obama agenda. Who can pay you more, who can hire more people in this economy when you don't know what your power bill is going to be because of the EPA regulation on carbon is hanging over your head."
The first part was right. The second part, not so much. Again, his lips are saying Obama agenda, but the words describe conservatives' agenda. No one is out there worrying about the EPA regulations and their electric bill. They are, however, concerned about the cuts in spending and public investments like infrastructure that create jobs and stimulate the economy. So yeah, the middle class is being screwed, but not by EPA regulations!
There's more. Isn't there always?
"People losing their health care because of the oppressive nature of Obamacare, Obama's raised taxes. At the end of the day, the middle class has suffered the most under Barack Obama. What would she do differently than Barack Obama to help the middle class because clearly it's not working. How would she reset a world that is literally falling apart?"
So, let's break this down in terms of conservative policies directly impacting the middle class today.
No one is losing their health care because of the ACA. In fact, the economy is growing because of Obamacare, not in spite of it.
Obama's tax increases weren't on the middle class, unless you consider the middle class to be couples earning in excess of $250,000. Conservatives, on the other hand, refused to extend federal unemployment benefits. A decision, by the way, which cost this middle class family a lot.
Graham's claims are both lies, but more than that, they're a repudiation of conservative domestic policies that are actively working to take health insurance away from people who are now benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. Those very same conservative policies argue that the poor and middle class should pay more taxes rather than taking another penny from billionaires.
Graham may think he's criticizing Obama, but he's really saying what we all know: Republicans have screwed the middle class.