This week North Carolina's Tom Tillis won the state's primary to become the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Then he appeared on Chuck Todd's show on MSNBC and was asked about raising the federal minimum wage.
Tillis replied with the standard Republican dodge/talking point that it should be up to state legislatures, apparently forgetting that he is the Speaker of the North Carolina House.
What Talking Points Like This Really Mean
We have here a guy who is solidly against the minimum wage – even says it is "dangerous" – but knows that he can't exactly say that. A recent Elon University poll showed that more than half of North Carolinians support raising the minimum wage.
The standard Republican dodge for this is to say it should be "left up to the states." But here's the thing: In this case, this is the person in North Carolina who it comes to if it is "left up to the states."
Tillis showed how much Republicans mean it when they repeat a standard dodge/talking point like "I believe that minimum wage decisions need to be made by the state." It means nothing. This is just a dodge. He really means he doesn't believe there should be any minimum wage, but needs something to say to divert attention.
In the past, Tillis has called the minimum wage a "dangerous idea."
What Would A "Market" Wage Be?
In the video above Tillis also said that the minimum wage should be abolished because that "frees up the market."
"Frees up the market?" Think this through. Think about what that means when you have high unemployment, little or no government assistance to the unemployed, even reduction or even elimination of safety-net programs like food stamps – all of these are GOP policies.
When you have a situation like that with desperate, starving people ready to take any job, what necessarily happens is that wages shrink to subsistence level – and everyone who can't get such a job dies off. Literally. Think it through.
And that is literally what Republicans like Tillis are working towards. No minimum wage, no unemployment assistance, little or no safety net, literally no restraint on "the market," nothing that interferes with the wishes of the billionaires... That is the America's Republicans are pushing us toward. This is who they are.
The "Establishment" Non-Crazy Candidate?
Tillis' win, by the way, is being sold as the "GOP establishment" defeating the Tea Party. He is said to be the "responsible" candidate, not a typical Tea Party "take a chicken to the doctor" or "I am not a witch" loon. Heh.