These days, Republicans don't know what to think of federal workers. House Republicans are caught between applauding capital police they refuse to pay, yelling at park rangers, and trying to take the employer contribution away from their own staff. As pressure builds for them to stop demanding ransom for doing their job, Republicans are trying to - albeit badly - give the impression that they, too, care about federal workers.
But Republicans made clear for some time now that they do not believe government workers serve any important functions. In fact, they don't even consider the jobs of federal workers to be real jobs. Let's have a refresher sampling of Republican quotes making clear their contempt for the government and those who work for it.
Let's start with John Boehner himself. Remember this gem?
"In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs," .. If some of those jobs are lost so be it."Never mind, of course, that Boehner was flat out lying about the 200,000 number. Video:
- Newly minted Speaker John BoehnerFebruary 11, 2011
Republicans cried for months and months before (and after) that government jobs aren't real jobs, and so when governments add jobs, those shouldn't count. Then Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele derided government work as "not a job," and Republicans nearly unanimously voted against the president's stimulus package - which was primarily aimed at creating private sector jobs.
Right before the 2011 debt limit crisis, Republicans went around cavalierly trying to convince people that it is fine to let America default on our debt because ... well, because federal workers needed to get a real job.
... speaking to conservative talk host Martha Zoller, Paul Broun (R-GA) was unfazed at all the jobs that would be lost.The Republican nominee Mitt Romney ran around the country just last year berating government jobs, saying at the Second presidential debate point blank that "government does not create jobs." The entire Republican presidential campaign - including his vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan as well as their surrogates - ran on the exact same message.
“Well those are gonna be government employees that are put out of work,” he said. “There are a lot of government employees that need to go find a real job!”
And just months ago, Eric Cantor, the Republican Majority Leader in the House, insisted that they did not need to work on jobs bills because, once again "the government doesn't create jobs."
All of this is to say nothing of the fact that for a long time now, Republicans have run around the country actively scaring Americans of federal employees. It started with their Patron Saint Ronald Reagan himself. Everyone knows his famous quote - "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" See? Not only are government jobs not real jobs, you should be afraid of federal workers.
Republicans followed true Reaganism as they went about the country urging Americans not to complete their Census forms and worse yet, encouraging people to SHOOT Census workers to scaring Americans of scary IRS agents (presumably with funny ears) who may enforce the Affordable Care Act's revenue provisions along with all other tax provisions of federal law, to deriding federal regulators who inspect your food, beverages and alcohol as socialists.
There is nothing new about Republican contempt for federal workers. This may be an inconvenient time for them to let the American people know about it, but now is the perfect time for the American people to learn about GOP's utter hatred for the federal government and those who work for it. Yes, the Republicans shut down the government because they don't want Americans to get affordable health care. But they also shut down the government because they could not care less about federal workers.