Conservatives Shame Working Parents No Matter What They Do

The tendency of Republicans to hypocritically flip the script whenever it suits their purposes is one of the most enraging aspects of modern-day conservatism. We recently got a example of their favorite flip when, after years of railing about the federal deficit during the Obama presidency, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney suddenly announced that no one cares about it anymore.

But Republicans have been putting parents (mostly women) in a double-bind with their hypocritical flips for decades now. Tucker Carlson demonstrated how it works when he commented on the fact that Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a new proposal to provide child care for low and middle income families.

There’s a lot of propaganda to unpack in that short clip. But the one that stands out to me is that he refers contemptuously to parents who are scurrying back to work “as good little servants of globalized market capitalism” (does Carlson suddenly prefer socialism?). That comes as Republicans attempt to impose work requirements on every program of this country’s meager safety net for families.

In other words, parents are told that any supports they receive for their families are conditioned on their attempts to find a job. And when they comply, they’re told that they are outsourcing their children’s upbringing to government caretakers when they need childcare. For parents who are struggling to make ends meet, the so-called “party of family values” shames them no matter what they do.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Tucker Carlson clip without a little xenophobia thrown in. So he lies to suggest that it is Democrats who outsourced manufacturing jobs (not global capitalists) and that, somehow, it is Democrats who are to blame for immigrants being hired to do farm work and yard labor (not businessmen like Donald Trump). Now he frames the need for child care workers as a Democratic plot to bring more immigrants into the country.

Finally, there is the looping of the Instagram video of Sen. Warren drinking a beer that repeats in the background as Tucker spreads his lies. Real subtle, isn’t it?

Tucker Carlson has built his career on hate. It has been obvious for a while now that he’s the “go-to guy” for white supremacist hate groups. But now he’s wielding contempt for working families in his efforts to sow xenophobia. The word “deplorable” might not be strong enough for what he’s doing.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.