Psst, Republicans: Plenty of your voters are unemployed too

I Need A Job

Photo Source: Dreamstime

Source: Daily Kos

One thing Republicans might want to consider about blocking emergency unemployment insurance—aside from that it’s heartless and economically damaging—is that it hits their voters, too. There are plenty of people who’ve been jobless for six months or more in Republican areas, and plenty of Republican voters who find themselves in that predicament. In fact, the AP’s Nicholas Riccardi notes, “Economists generally say the longer-term unemployed tend to be older—a slice of the population that has become more supportive of Republicans in recent elections.”

Republicans are trying to blame Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for somehow causing them to block the unemployment aid extension. But if they’re counting on voters to fall for that, they might want to rethink:

The standoff infuriates people such as Lita Ness, who lost her job as a civilian contractor at Peterson Air Force Base in August 2012 and just received her final check from the unemployment office.”I’m registered as a Republican, but if they continue to use this not extending our (aid) I’m probably changing to Democrat,” Ness, 58, said as she took a break from a computer training class at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. “People in our district who vote `No’ on this, I’m not going to support them.”

The thing is, someone who is losing the money they count on to eat and pay the rent doesn’t give a damn about whether Harry Reid is allowing dozens of amendments to a simple unemployment aid extension. They just need it extended, and the question that counts is who votes yes, who votes no, and who stands in the way of a vote happening at all. Similarly, someone who’s sending out job application after job application, dealing with rejection on a daily basis, probably notices and takes offense when politicians—their elected representatives, even—talk about jobless people as lazy, unmotivated moochers. And the people noticing these things do include Republicans in Republican districts. Even if their representatives stopped caring about them when they lost their jobs.