In many ways that era is over for the current crop of Republicans. Don't believe me? Then take a look at a couple of stories from yesterday.
First of all, you have Newt Gingrich's answer to income inequality: get rid of child labor laws and put the children to work.
Newt Gingrich tonight said at an address at Harvard that child work laws "entrap" poor children into poverty - and suggested that a better way to handle failing schools is to fire the janitors, hire the local students and let them get paid for upkeep.
The comment came in response to an undergrad's question about income equality during his talk at Harvard's Kennedy School...
He added, "You go out and talk to people, as I do, you go out and talk to people who are really successful in one generation. They all started their first job between nine and 14 years of age. They all were either selling newspapers, going door to door, they were doing something, they were washing cars."
"They all learned how to make money at a very early age," he said. "What do we say to poor kids in poor neighborhoods? Don't do it. Remember all that stuff about don't get a hamburger flipping job? The worst possible advice you could give to poor children."
So he wants to fire these children's parents from their janitor and hamburger flipping jobs and send the 9 year olds in to take their place. This, dear friends, is the "brilliance" of Newt Gingrich.
But Rick Santorum is even worse. He just thinks poor people should suffer.
During a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa Friday afternoon, Rick Santorum argued that Americans receive too many government benefits and ought to “suffer” in the Christian tradition. If “you’re lower income, you can qualify for Medicaid, you can qualify for food stamps, you can qualify for housing assistance,” Santorum complained, before adding, “suffering is part of life and it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.”
Santorum's reference to Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance was by way of saying that the government shouldn't provide those things. Instead, poor people should "suffer," in the "Christian tradition," by not having health care, food and a roof over their head.
This isn't the argument some Christians make that government shouldn't be providing those things but it should be up to private philanthropy (a ridiculous idea too, but at least a step up from Santorum). He's saying we shouldn't help them at all - that they should suffer. I have NO idea what Bible this guy's reading that tells him that!
So there you have it folks...the Republican Party in all its true colors.