March 6, 2014

The moment the conservative Republicans jumped the shark

And even as I write that, I know that isn't true.  The conservative right saying something dumb is as common as Steve getting defensive when I dare criticize gun owners.

No, the right wing will continue to say dumb stuff--as long as the Party cares more about appeasing the base than proposing good policy.  From the guy who would have been VP, and the guy the right points to as their "budget-guru," comes this gem:

Paul Ryan: Free School Lunch Means Poor Parents Don't Care About Kids

Perhaps a little unfair (the headline, here), but the essentially meaning from Paul Ryan's quote appears to be a deep and horrifying misunderstanding about our social safety net.  I have heard this from others, but still.  The basis for this misunderstanding is the idea that our society never really needed a social safety net, and that the creation of one has created poverty and needy-ness.  Hence you have people saying stuff like, "before the New Deal, communities cared for poor people.  We didn't need no damn government program."

Of course the reality is that communities tried, just as they do today, to take care of the needy, but they failed miserably when the entire economy collapsed.  Turns out that private charities exist in the same economy that produces need, and when the economy goes down, so do donations and fundraisers.  This isn't rocket science, but seems to be something that needs to be said, so I will say it again.  When the economy struggles, so do those agencies that try to help the needy.  Not only are they likely to see a decline in their donations, but they will see a big increase in the demand for their assistance.  Because the economy is in bad shape.  See?  Of course you do, but evidently the GOP's "budget guru" does not.  He seems to think that school lunches either causes poverty, or reveals that liberals want kids to eat government cheese rather than a lovingly made pb&j.

It is a dumb thing to say.  But one that he will repeat, I am guessing, as it plays to what has become a very dumb audience at the annual CPAC conference.

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