Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Republicans and Democrats (Sometimes) Love the "You Don't Get It" Argument

Think of it as another example of how politicians love to throw the same invective at each other.

This time, it's the "they haven't lived it, so they just don't get it" accusation. Both Republicans and Democrats seem to think that the other party's candidate can't empathize or understand certain things about the economy because of where they come from and how they've lived.

Just recently at the GOP convention, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), RNC chair Reince Priebus, and GOP presidential candidate former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) all made the argument that:
Because he's never run a business and hardly even worked in the private sector, President Barack Obama can't know what it takes to promote job creation.
(Radio pundit Rush Limbaugh earlier made the same argument, too.)

And, just a week later at the DNC convention, Mayor Julian Castro (D-San Antonio), and First Lady Michelle Obama (at least, according to columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.) have all made the argument that:
Because he's a multi-millionaire and has never struggled with money, Romney can't know what it takes to help out poor people in America.
(The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is putting out an ad making the same claim about his wife, Ann Romney.)

Notice, both sides seem to think this sort of reasoning is valid, so long as it applies to the other party. They probably consider the argument to be horribly flimsy when it's made against their own candidate.

As usual, double-standards reign in American politics. The empty rhetoric used against you becomes insightful criticism when it's used against your opponent.

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