I have to admit, Democrats seem to be rising more to the challenge these days, and forcefully responding to the GOP shell game.
Nothing was as nakedly obvious about where the GOP's heart lie than in the dubious intermingling of a minimum wage bill with the proposed reduction of the estate tax.
Do they really think that they will be able to go to the voters in November and charge that it is the Democrats who are opposed to an increase in minimum wage? If the Dems use the right strategy...pull back the curtain and show exactly what the GOP is doing...this will boomerang. When Sen. Frist goes on record saying that linking a minimum wage increase to a repeal of the estate tax is "all-or-nothing" than it is relatively easy to connect the dots.
For a change, it seems that the Dems are learning how to counter such chicanery a bit more forcefully.
In that spirit, witness the following statement from House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer:
“Republicans cynically linked an increase in the minimum wage to a virtual repeal of the estate tax, intending to give political cover to their most vulnerable Members while ensuring that no increase would be enacted and hoping to blame Democrats.
“This Do-Nothing Republican Congress has such misplaced priorities that they refuse to pass a minimum wage increase even though the overwhelming majority of the American people and bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate support it. Republicans point to small businesses to justify their unjustifiable opposition, but 86 percent of small business people say that an increase won’t affect them.
“Holding a pay increase for millions of Americans hostage for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest estates was a cynical game that left working families on the losing end once again. Americans are tired of the game playing and are looking for a change. Democrats will take our country in a new direction, including a fair increase in the minimum wage.”
Since it's all about sound bites, the "Do-Nothing Republican Congress" has a nice ring to it, don't ya think?