"They aren't fighting the special interests. They're fighting us."

"They aren't fighting the special interests. They're fighting us."

by digby

Following up on David's post below, I think it's refreshing when Presidential candidates say what they really believe. This comment by Mitt Romney is truly revealing and I appreciate the fact that he said it:

"Obama wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."

I think I'll just ask Ms Peggy Noonan what she thinks about that:
Who were the firemen? The Christian scholar and author Os Guinness said the other night in Manhattan that horror and tragedy crack open the human heart and force the beauty out. It is in terrible times that people with great goodness inside become most themselves. "The real mystery," he added, "is not the mystery of evil but the mystery of goodness." Maybe it's because of that mystery that firemen themselves usually can't tell you why they do what they do. "It's the job," they say, and it is, and it is more than that.

So: The firemen were rough repositories of grace. They were the goodness that comes out when society is cracked open. They were responsible. They took responsibility under conditions of chaos. They did their job under heavy fire, stood their ground, claimed new ground, moved forward like soldiers against the enemy. They charged.

But, you know, who really needs 'em? After all, only 343 firefighters and and 72 police officers lost their lives on 9/11.

We've come a long way since this --- and it was only 2 years ago:

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) picked up on that theme today on ABC’s Top Line, calling it a “massive state bailout.” When host Z. Byron Wolf asked what the GOP plan would be to help teachers who are about to lose their jobs — particularly the 3,600 in Indiana, Pence didn’t have much to offer:

PENCE: Well, look I’m married to a school teacher. My wife spent more than a decade in a public school classroom. So I love teachers! Teachers, firefighters, policemen are all Americans and they all know that the economic policies of bailouts and handouts have failed to create jobs.

In 2005, Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special election to dramatically cut funding for teachers, firefighters and nurses. He campaigned by calling them "special interests." They fought back hard with a series of ads that reminded Americans that he was talking about them and their neighbors. He tanked in the polls, his initiatives were soundly defeated and at the time people wondered if he could win reelection.(He did, of course, but he dropped this plan like a hot potato.)

Here's one of the ads:

I've written about this before, thinking they were very clever and that it would be a good way for the unions to fight back nationally. But maybe we've so lost any sense of solidarity that we really just don't give a damn about anyone but ourselves, even our own neighbors and families.

I honestly don't know. Romney said what most of his voters believe which is that anyone who gets a government paycheck (other than a soldier) should be fired.

Meanwhile, you'll be happy to note that some government functions are still sacred:

Members of the House of Representatives voted Friday to protect their own office expense accounts from budget cuts.

The bipartisan 307-102 vote came on a $3.3 billion measure funding congressional operations.

Republicans controlling the House have been trying to cut domestic agency budgets by about 5 percent. But when it came to their own staff, travel and office expenses, GOP leaders opted to freeze their $574 million budget after two years of cuts.

The funding bill includes a 1 percent cut that comes chiefly from cutting back on repairs to the iconic Capitol dome, which dates to the Civil War.

After passing the measure, lawmakers immediately left Washington for a weeklong vacation.

This was a full page ad in the New York Times today: