Mailbag: No more Republican talking points on jobs

There were so many Republican talking points in the Oct. 12 Forum letter from Anita Meister-Boyd that it made me curious about her background ("Commentary: Jobs bill fails to address unemployment").

She is not only a resident of Newport Coast, but she is also a member of the Newport Harbor Republican Women and is the committee chairwoman for special projects. This explains her comments — particularly her defense of Eric Cantor's comments — her unsupported implication that regulations significantly and negatively impact job growth, and her accusation of demagoguery.

Meister-Boyd stated that the previous writer should speak to the facts. Well, that should apply to her as well.

For example, she references "Congress should pass jobs act" by Samantha O'Dell. This letter was in the Oct. 7 Daily Pilot. It should be read if you missed it. Second, she implied that regulations have had a significantly negative impact on job growth.

However, the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't support that. The biggest problem by far seems to be lack of demand for products. Demand for goods comes from people with jobs who have purchasing power. Third, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was sponsored by a Democrat (Paul Sarbanes) and a Republican (Michael Oxley). The bill was enacted as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems and WorldCom.

Now Meister-Boyd calls this act burdensome. The current economy couldn't take these kinds of scandals. Keep in mind that much of the overspending (Iraq war, etc.) and lack of oversight of Wall Street that has weakened the economy occurred on Republican watch.

I could go on and make comments/corrections/counter-arguments for every point in her letter, but I will end with her comment on demagoguery. She implied that O'Dell was using demagoguery in her letter.

Demagoguery is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears, vanities and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric, over-generalized and unsupported comments, and propaganda. From my reading of books on propaganda, usually accusing another of demagoguery is a tactic to discredit their argument, when they know that their own position is weak.

Also, being the first to accuse the other of demagoguery prevents the second party from making the same claim even if it appears to be true. When Meister-Boyd uses terms or unsupported and generalized comments like "crony capitalism," "pendulum has swung too far on the side of unions solely for political reasons" or "languished on Obama's desk," she should review her own work for demagoguery — and it wouldn't hurt to be more open about her affiliations.

Charles Mooney

Costa Mesa

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