American Enterprise Institute scholar James Pethokoukis is a man of infinite patience. The depth of his tolerance was perhaps most convincingly demonstrated in a Wednesday appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell. There, Pethokoukis bravely confronted guests and hosts alike in a selfless effort to combat the liberal premises with which he was bombarded.
CNBC, an economics network, invited the editor of the Putin-loving far-left magazine The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, to discuss the outcome of the 2014 midterms and their impact on economic issues. Vanden Heuvel’s spin on the midterms was not surprising, but the way in which the rest of the panel of guests rushed to agree with her was.
One of the panel guests could not determine a single mandate emerging from this election, save for a ringing public endorsement for increasing the minimum wage. Another painted a Dickensian portrait of the electorate and noted that she “confronted” those who were so apathetic about the state of American politics that they refused to vote.
“Maybe the thing is they do want a higher minimum wage and, gosh, maybe they do like more pre-school funding, but they do not think that either of those things is enough to shake us off of this new normal,” Pethokoukis observed.
For a panel of economic experts, it’s shocking that it took the only conservative to note that universal pre-k and a $1.20 minimum wage hike are quite unlikely to get the American economic engine revving again. Moreover, how is it possible that only Pethokoukis noticed that the electorate that voted in favor of ballot initiatives that hike minimum wage soundly rejected politicians who promised to pursue similar policies at a federal level? It is simply condescending to presume the voters did not know what they were doing when they pulled the lever for Republicans in droves, but that seems to be the underlying assumption from three out of these four panelists.
Pethokoukis did not spend his time on this panel defending Republican policies. In fact, he made a point of noting that the present Republican agenda is an inadequate response to the scope of the challenges ahead of the country. But he was an island in a sea of laughably weak attempts to rescue Democrats from the voters’ wrath.