Alaska's Tea Party insurgent
Miller has become the latest GOP candidate to express opposition to a federal minimum wage. In an ABC/Politico interview with Mike
Allen he stated
that it is "not within the scope of the powers that are given to the
federal government." That assertion joins him to a growing list of
Republican candidates who have made similar statements, including
Linda McMahon, John Raese and Dino Rossi. Democrats seem
eager to fight on this territory, preparing attack
ads to energize the base
and paint both the Tea Party
and the larger Republican establishment as radical and out-of-touch with
- The 'Snakepit' of Minimum Wage Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein
quotes DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz, who lays out the Democrats' plan of
attack: "Joe Miller followed Linda McMahon into the snakepit of minimum
wage," said Eric Schultz. "Last week, Republicans in Washington tried to
stop the outsourcing of American jobs. This week Republicans seem
intent on getting rid of the minimum wage. What exactly do Republicans
have against America workers?"
- These Statements Will Be in Ads Very Soon figures Jeremy P. Jacobs
at The Hotline. "To be sure, some have gone farther than others, but
Democrats believe that the statements are political death wishes as
unemployment holds steady around 10%. Democrats view the issue as a base
energizer, particularly among union members. They also plan to use the
statements to show that Republicans are out of touch and out of the
mainstream for their states - a line of attack they have already been
using in most of these states."
- Minimum Wage 'On Chopping Block'
at least that's how this far-right GOP contingent appears to be headed,
writes The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen.
The debate used to be, "limited to two camps: those who want to keep
the rate where it is, and those who want to increase it." Now, the same
candidate who, "also believes that federal unemployment benefits,
Medicare, and Social Security should all be eliminated" is helping to
revive the issue.
- What Is Miller Thinking? wonders Greg Sargent
at The Washington Post. "It's hard to overstate how extreme Miller's
position is. After the New Deal passed, Republicans ultimately realized
that they would have to accept the New Deal's main achievements as
permanent pillars of society in order to remain a viable national party.
Miller seems to want to relitigate something the GOP already hashed out
more than a half century ago."
- He Needs to Understand American History Ian Millhiser
at ThinkProgress explains why Joe Miller's statement that minimum wage
is not within the "scope" of the powers given to the federal government
The Constitution gives Congress the power “[t]o
regulate commerce…among the several states,” a power which even
ultraconservative Justice Antonin Scalia agrees gives Congress broad
authority to regulate “economic activity.” Moreover, the Supreme Court
unanimously upheld the first federal minimum wage law in a 1941 decision
called United States v. Darby. That decision did not just uphold the
minimum wage, it also expressly overruled an egregious 1918 decision
striking down federal child labor laws. Darby therefore provides a
frightening window into just what America would look like if it were
ever ruled by Joe Miller’s twisted constitution. If Congress lacks the
power to enact the basic employment laws like the minimum wage, then it
also lacks the power to enact other fundamental labor protections such
as regulating child labor.
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