This past Sunday evening Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst debated each other. The result can only be described as expected.
Braley attacked Ernst for being a tool of the Koch brothers and being in league with Ted Cruz when it comes to shutting down the government. Ernst accused Braley of suing his neighbors over errant chickens. When it comes to substance Joni Ernst does not bother with the policy stuff, she just accuses the other guy of being a lawyer. Remember, in the Republican worldview lawyers and judges are evil unless they are rendering judgments like the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby’s bogus religious exemption.
The real moment of clarity for voters in Iowa should have been when Ernst would not be put on record about the right amount for a minimum wage. She believes that it should be solely up to the states to decide what is the right minimum wage for their particular circumstance—something a state can already do if it wishes to be higher than the insufficient federal minimum wage. This is right wing code speak for not really supporting a minimum wage. Here it is in full:
“I do believe that is something that needs to be set by the states, because our Iowa cost of living is very low. Currently it is at $7.25 an hour, and I’m someone that worked the minimum wage way back when, when it was much lower. But the way we can combat this and do better for Iowa families is by growing our economy.”
Never mind the logical fallacy of comparing the absolute minimum wage from prior years to today’s minimum wage without factoring inflation. These people believe that those making $7.25 per hour are living high on the hog. In Iowa a worker would need to work at least 73 hours per week to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. Wow, that’s only a near doubling of an average 40 hour workweek. Maybe we can help Iowa families by not asking them to spend even more time away from their children and loved ones because they cannot afford to survive. Just saying.
Climate change is the other issue that is now being discussed in right wing code speak. Ernst’s own words pretty much define the new line of reasoning:
“I do believe our climate is changing. But again, I’m not sure what the impact of man is upon that climate change.”
Acknowledge that every scientific fact points to a warming planet and subsequently weird climate, but simultaneously deny the link to human activities. You know, because burning fossil fuels at insane rates has nothing to do with a changing planet.
But, the tried and true defense is to play dumb:
“I don’t know the science behind climate change. I can’t say one way or another what is the direct impact, whether it’s man-made or not.”
Yep, these are the people who feel qualified to speak on issues like EPA regulation. On one hand they are too ignorant of the science to make an informed argument, but on the other hand they feel strongly that the regulatory environment is too extreme.
At least Ernst is on record as supporting a woman’s right to access to contraception saying, “I do believe in a woman’s right to contraception.” Granted, she will probably find a way to walk that back when she gets in front of evangelicals.
It could actually be worse because I could live in northeastern Wisconsin and be worried that Glenn Grothman might be my next U.S. Representative. Check out what he has to say.