GOP forced to frantically cancel anti-minimum wage hearing after key witness exposed as wanting to 'tax and regulate homosexual acts'
With progressive activists fighting to secure a $15-an-hour minimum wage across the country, House Republicans are determined to throw cold water on the policy, painting it as a job killer (although there is by no means an economic consensus on that). To that effect, their members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce were planning to hold a hearing on Wednesday about the potential consequences of a minimum wage increase.
But according to a report from POLITICO, Republicans frantically postponed this meeting because one of their key expert witnesses against the minimum wage, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia, was exposed espousing hateful rhetoric toward gays and women on his now-defunct blog, "No Shades of Gray," written when he was a doctoral candidate at Cornell University.
"I humbly propose that right-wingers attach an amendment to every bill that taxes or regulates tobacco or high-fat foods. The right-wing amendment should tax and regulate homosexual acts," wrote Sabia in a 2002 post. "[F]irst we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like 'CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying.'"
That was not Sabia's only incendiary post. In another, he referred to college-aged women as "unpaid whores" and said "Feminist thought has taught young women that equality is achieved by acting like promiscuous sluts."
Apparently, all of this was too embarrassing even for House Republicans. The GOP's Education and the Workforce Committee majority communications director, Kelley McNabb, confirmed that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing" due to Sabia's writings.
Republicans have frequently had to deal with the political fallout of their association with disreputable figures. Recently, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) were caught rubbing shoulders with a far-right Holocaust denier — twice.
All things considered, having to scrap a minimum wage hearing because of a witness's extreme anti-gay, anti-woman beliefs is nothing unusual for the GOP, but it is a humiliating final send-off for their lame duck House majority.