“Top-Down Class Warriors” Are Always Our Enemies

gop food stamp thieves davies

(Matt Davies via GoComics.com)

.

Alex Pareene knows what he’s talking about:

House Republicans voted yesterday to cut $40 billion in funding for SNAP — the anti-poverty program commonly known as “food stamps” — because, as Jonathan Chait ably points out, they are dedicated top-down class warriors. Republicans voted to gut SNAP not long after they voted to preserve agriculture subsidies, and indeed to spend more on farmers than bleeding-heart liberal President Barack Obama wants to. Crop subsidies overwhelmingly benefit rich (and white) people. SNAP, not so much. These are the sorts of positions that make “they hate poor people” sound not particularly hyperbolic….

The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published a report in 2006 on the failure of welfare reform as politics, and not as policy. (As policy it was a huge success if you consider the goal to be “getting people off welfare” and a mixed bag if your aim is “provide adequate levels of support for needy people.”)… The paper seeks to answer two questions: Whether welfare reform improved public perception of, and support for, government assistance to the poor (it didn’t); and whether embracing reform led more people to support Democrats. (“We find no evidence that the Democratic Party benefited from welfare reform,” the authors say.) Nothing Morris and Reed predicted came to pass. Democrats gave conservatives a public policy victory and in return they won nothing besides perhaps a short-lived “truce” on the use of explicitly racial “welfare” attacks against Democrats in national campaigns. That truce lasted approximately as long as it took for Democrats to regain the White House. And now Republicans can point to this reform — a bipartisan reform pushed by a Democratic president! — as precedence for their proposal to slash spending on poor people even more.

If you want to know why left-leaning Democrats oppose “modest” “reforms” to Social Security and Medicare, look at food stamps and welfare. If you want to know why even a change as “progressive” sounding as “means testing” — lowering benefits only for richer retirees — is opposed by liberals, look at food stamps and welfare. Co-opting the conservative line on anti-poverty programs did nothing to halt conservative attacks on anti-poverty programs. Programs aimed strictly at the poorest Americans are always and forever under assault from a Republican Party that still has not dared to cut spending on programs — like Medicare and crop insurance — that also benefit the rich. The “Grand Bargain” is always going to accelerate the destruction of the safety net.

***********

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62 replies
  1. 1
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Nice quotes!

    I had to look up the “surplus population” phrase and found it came from Scrooge. Most apt.

    I am a pacifist by philosophy but sometimes I lust in my heart for a good tumbril.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    whether embracing reform led more people to support Democrats. (“We find no evidence that the Democratic Party benefited from welfare reform,” the authors say.)

    One quibble. You would also have to consider whether welfare reform prevented greater losses, if you want to have a complete analysis.

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    You would also have to consider whether welfare reform prevented greater losses . . .

    Adopting those policies was about preventing further losses. But his larger point, which I take a basically playing defense all the time is not a way to win a war, stands.

  4. 4
    IowaOldLady says:

    My opposition to means testing Social Security comes from looking at the difference in how Medicare and Medicaid are regarded and treated. As soon as you mark some program as for the “needy,” you make it much easier to destroy.

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    The funniest unfunny thing is, the Red States, and Red rural areas in Blue States, have the highest per capita number of people who use and/or depend on SNAP.

    But, these stupid and ignorant rubes, suckers, dupes, stooges, bobos, fools, marks, half/dim/nit/f*ck-wits, Christian loons, morons, imbeciles, and idiots, always feel that the system is rife with corruption, and that “THOSE people” are cheating the system, and getting more. And using that extra, to buy T-bones, lobster, crab legs, Malt Liquor, and Caddies. And “THOSE people” are fat, because they spend the rest of their “more” money on fast food, chips, snacks, and candy (never mind their own cottage-cheese, pasty-white, zip code, sized asses!).

    And they aren’t afraid of cuts to the SNAP program, because they clearly don’t think THEIR SNAP benefits will be affected – only the SNAP benefits of “THOSE people.”
    And they think that, because they are ‘stupid and ignorant rubes, etc.’

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Napoleon:

    The structural problem for Democrats is that, generally, half of their good works consists of just holding a seat that would otherwise be held by Republicans. Republicans supporters can take comfort in the fact that, even if the Republicans badly lose an election, they won’t be harmed that much and more likely than not would share in the benefits that come from Democratic governance. As history has proven, however, when Republicans win, so many people, and especially Democratic constituencies, suffer grievously. I think that, among other things, contributes to the tentativeness of many Democratic officeholders.

    I believe the political culture is slowly changing, however. So many people have so little left to lose that they are fighting back. Demographic changes are also helping to make Democrats more sure of themselves. And Obama’s election and re-election has helped make people believe that that things thought impossible are in fact possible. But it’s going to be a long, hard road before we turn the corner in the current iteration of this fight.

  7. 7
    gene108 says:

    Co-opting the conservative line on anti-poverty programs did nothing to halt conservative attacks on anti-poverty programs.

    But boy were those attacks effective. I remember when they helped make liberal a dirty word.

    Democrats got a respite from being hammered, while the public largely had time to forget about welfare queens and the sundry other arguments about the then state of welfare, such as (black) children following (black) parents on a generational cycle of dependence and how welfare did more to destroy the African-American family unit than anything else prior to LBJ thinking the modern welfare state up.

    What the modern Republicans are doing is beyond what any previous Republicans have attempted, they literally want to go back to a pre-New Deal America and recreate the Gilded Age.

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    The funniest unfunny thing is, the Red States, and Red rural areas in Blue States, have the highest per capita number of people who use and/or depend on SNAP.

    Given the low rates of voter participation by the poor, in this country, I somehow doubt those folks are actually voting for anyone.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @gene108: How long before they blame the President and make signs saying keep the government out of my food stamps?

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    @c u n d gulag: So true!

    According to this source of handy charts, 36% of SNAP recipients are white.

    So the Republicans are doing this to their own voters.

    But, you know, it’s not going to pass the Senate, right?

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    I was always impressed with how denying people eligibility for welfare was portrayed as some policy innovation.

    Telling people that they cannot receive assistance in the same tones as if people had been somehow improved so as to not need assistance.

    Discussion of poverty and unemployment related matters in this country is absurd

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    The self-satisfied, sanctimonious smugness is what I remember most from the original welfare reform blathering and it’s back!

    It’s just such an easy political shot, beating up on poor people. There is no downside for a politician.

    Thank God we found the courage to focus, again, on the completely powerless, absolutely destitute individuals who are ruining America.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    @El Cid: Discussion of poverty and unemployment related matters in this country is absurd

    Yes, and made deliberately so by the perpetrators.

  14. 14
    c u n d gulag says:

    @WereBear:
    Thanks.
    And yeah, I’m aware of both.
    But like I said, the 36% of white people on SNAP, don’t think that THEIR benefits will worsen, or that they’ll lose them. Only “THOSE people” will.

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    indeed to spend more on farmers than bleeding-heart liberal President Barack Obama wants to.

    See, this sounds like hypocrisy, but it’s worse. What they’re telling “farmers” (owners of land that has been or could be farmed are included in that) is that food stamp recipients are TAKING their farm subsidies. Latta does this in Ohio.

    So while it’s a mean-spirited (but easy) national strategy, it’s also local. They’re literally setting one individual against another at the county level in rural areas. This way “conservatives” can take federal subsidies and still feel good about themselves, and still complain about “spending”. They’re the intended recipients. Spending on them is not even on the table.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    47% of people think they are entitled to food.

  17. 17
    Poopyman says:

    @WereBear: Did anyone notice that breakdown of food stamp roles by race, already including “unknown”, only added up to 93.1%? And I seem to recall from a few years back that the percentage of white recipients was much higher, like close to 50%.

    There’s a real possibility I’m misremembering the white percentage, but I don’t think I borrowed McMegan’s calculator.

    ETA: OK, the original USDA report included “non-participating”, which amounts to 6.8% of the total. That category could have been included in the chart, but wasn’t.

  18. 18
    RevRick says:

    @Napolean,
    I seem to recall the Russians successfully used that strategy against you in the Winter Campaign.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @Poopyman: No, didn’t notice that, and you’re right: it’s an excellent check that is a good default.

  21. 21
    RevRick says:

    It’s also about creating a reserve army of the unemployed which is quite helpful if you want to drive down wages.
    It happened in the 1877, when President Rutherford B. Hayes called out the troops to suppress the Great Railroad Strike which arose from the distress caused by falling wages. This also opened the door to the use of state militias and the Pinkertons to suppress other strikes.

    We need to impress upon the middle class that benefits which they may never use such as TANF, SNAP and Medicaid actually benefit them, because they create a floor on income below which the predators at the top cannot push them.

    As a clergyperson I would add, of course, that resentment destroys people spiritually as well, given that it’s a toxic stew of pride, anger and envy (three of the Seven Deadly Sins). Getting sucked into it, or worse yet, embracing it as your best friend is a surefire road to disaster.

  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    It is classic divide and conquer politics. Republicans telling poor whites in rural southern areas that it is the urban blahs who are gaming the system and taking advantage of food stamps to buy t bone steaks while they drive Cadillacs and talk on their Obama phones.

    Farmers are told that their farm subsidies are being re-directed to those same food stamp moochers.

    Seniors are told that Obama took billions from their Medicare to give free government run health care to moochers and left them with death panels. Republicans tell people who have health insurance that they are going to pay more to cover the moochers who will be given this stuff for free.

    I hear it all the time that Obama won because of all the people who voted for the free stuff he gives them. Romney’s 47% was not a gaffe. I have heard that number for years from people on the right. They were mad that Romney backed away from it. I also hear them talk about only letting the people who pay federal income tax vote.

    The whole thing falls apart when you are exposed to the actual people who receive food stamps or Medicaid because they are seniors, and the working poor, and children. We are talking about women who work full time and are trying to raise children on minimum wage jobs at places like Walmart and McDonalds, Kroegers.

    I really feel like the more we focus on telling the stories of the people who are trying to hold it together in the hell that is working poverty, the better we will be able to organize against the real moochers like Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc. This is where we have to devote our resources. We also have to do whatever it fucking takes WIFT to win the House in 2014. I realize that it is incredibly difficult but we have to do it anyway because there are people suffering terribly.

  23. 23
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    In my more generous moments, I would like to believe that the people getting food stamps are the ones who vote for democrats, even in deep red districts, and so am willing to cut them a break. Sadly, I am prepared to be wrong about that.

  24. 24
    Patrick says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    My opposition to means testing Social Security comes from looking at the difference in how Medicare and Medicaid are regarded and treated. As soon as you mark some program as for the “needy,” you make it much easier to destroy.

    Absolutely. If Social Security is truly means tested, then it will likely be the begging of the end to Social Security. It will be considered a welfare program, and we can’t have that.

    Look at how well the far right has managed to change the ugly word “rich” to the nicer word “job-creator”. It would be the same ball game if SS was means-tested. You would see a lot of resentment from people who really should be for it.

  25. 25
    Judge Crater says:

    This is so depressing. It illustrates how the middle class is being hollowed out and that our downward economic spiral is only picking up speed. The pernicious creed of “free market capitalism” and its ancillary policies (fraudulent as they are) of privatization and deregulation has captured our democracy at almost every level.

  26. 26
    mai naem says:

    I know this young couple. They had their first baby last year – shes going to celebrate her first birthday in Nov. He works i full time job and another almost fulll time job(72 hrs total.) She used to work before the baby and is looking for a job. She was going to school for IT related stuff but had to quit because she couldn’t afford the classes when they increased the tuition at the local CC. He
    s got some voc. ed but couldn’t find a related job. Anyhow, their primary vehicle broke down last week. The cost of repairs $350. He had to get a auto title loan for the money because he didn’t have the $$$. He had been saving a little money so that they could have a small first birthday party for the kid. That ain’t gonna happen now because of the car repair $$$. Seriously, Fuck the GOP. They aren’t going to be happy until people are serfs begging for scraps like dogs.

  27. 27
    The Sailor says:

    The tag said open thread, so I’d like to go OT for a moment:
    How is this legal?
    Some death penalty states, including Georgia, have said they’re turning to compounding pharmacies for pentobarbital. Such pharmacies make customized drugs not scrutinized by the Federal Drug Administration. ”

    Then why aren’t meth labs legal?

  28. 28
    Sly says:

    @RevRick:
    Faulty analogy. Food, which an army requires to sustain itself, is finite. Spite, which conservatism requires to sustain itself, isn’t.

  29. 29
    GregB says:

    @RevRick:

    The amount of resentment fostered by the anti-worker/labor crumb-bums is toxic but it sure is effective.

    The more people they have fighting over scraps the better, it is a great diversion as they carve up the fatted pig of concentrated wealth.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patrick:

    Look at how well the far right has managed to change the ugly word “rich” to the nicer word “job-creator”.

    The battle is won and lost with language. That is why everytime you hear or read words like “job-creator” you have to attack the fallacy of such things. There are NO job creators. People DO NOT create jobs and if they do, then they DESTROY jobs as well. They do not get credit for the good if they will not take credit for the bad. The rich are only “wealth aggregators”.

    Good economies create jobs. Bad economies destroy them. And wealth aggregators prosper either way.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    Here is a post from a 35 year old combat veteran on food stamps.

    http://thesterlingroad.com/201.....od-stamps/

  32. 32
    kathleen says:

    Something wrong with your “steve benen” blog link. Takes you right to “NBC News.” Not a Chuck Todd fan.

  33. 33
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @WereBear:

    According to this source of handy charts, 36% of SNAP recipients are white.

    So the Republicans are doing this to their own voters.

    I think the numbers are worse than that. Note that in that link, 18.4% are “unknown”. So of the known, reported numbers, whites are 36.6/(100-18.4) = 44.9%. This linky says 43% are white.

    But for the Teabagger arguments, the numbers don’t really matter. What matters is how much outrage they can create in their voters and funders.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  34. 34
    Patrick says:

    Well said!

    I always ask if tax cuts for the job-creators are so badly needed, then why didn’t the “job-creators” create any jobs as soon as Bush W cut their taxes back in 2001/2003?

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Judge Crater:

    The pernicious creed of “free market capitalism”

    Also, there is no such thing as a “free market”. Never has been, never will be. The “free market” people want you to believe that if only the gov’t got out of the market and let it alone, all would be well. The truth is, if the gov’t stopped regulating the market, within a nano-second or two some player would begin the process of taking it over. That would not be a “free market”. It would be on the road to a “captured market”, less and less free with every passing moment. The best we can hope for is a “fair market” which is what gov’g regulation is all about.

    So put “free-markets” right up there with unicorns, fairies, and elvish people on the list of mythical creations.

  36. 36
    bemused says:

    Bachmann was one of the first loons to quote the “those who won’t work, don’t get to eat” line and more of the stone-hearted and bone-headded have joined in. I heard John Fugelsang say on Stephanie Miller Show that those words didn’t come from Jesus or God but Paul’s letter to ?. I’m no Bible student and Fugelsang seems to have background (parents were former monk/nun) but it certainly would not surprise me that these Christianist folks don’t know their own bible.

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patrick: I always say, “Tax the Rich, ’cause that’s where the money is.”

  38. 38
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Gypsy Howell: @bemused:
    Believe and hope – BUT DON’T BET THE HOUSE ON IT!!! :-)

  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    @bemused:

    It is from Thessalonians and depending on the translation is also those who are not willing to work shall not eat.

    There is also Acts which conservatives like to forget because the disciples instruct everyone to give everything that they have to the disciples to be distributed to each according to their need. Jesus’ peeps were soshulists!!

    Ironically, the Thessalonians quote was popular among Communists after Lenin used it to describe the bourgeoisie who reap the profits off of the labor of others. Due to the ever shifting political landscape, I am not sure what is right, left, capitalist, or communist anymore. Stupidity makes for strange bedfellows.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    None of this addresses the Wingers obsessive need to look down on other people.

    Plagued by low self-worth, and with good reason in most cases, they are in constant, ceaseless, search for groups of people they can oppress and dehumanize.

    We are challenged with the task of figuring out ways to never give them what they want.

  41. 41
    Lurker says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    @c u n d gulag

    Alas, you are so right! Talk about people acting against their own interest. Bleeding idiots!

    P.S.: Given the price per pound of lobster, it would take about 6 months worth of food stamps to buy one.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @WereBear:

    We are challenged with the task of figuring out ways to never give them what they want.

    Step 1: Turnout
    Step 2: Turn. Out.
    Step 3: Turn the fuck out.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: I agree.

    We need a graphic: the VOTE as a lever which can move their world.

  44. 44
    weaselone says:

    @Lurker:

    I suspect that there are actually people on food stamps who occasionally buy lobster with them. The percentage of the population that does so is likely inversely related to the distance from Maine. It’s not uncommon to see chicken lobsters fall to a price of $4.99/lb on special in Boston grocery stores. I’m going to guess that in Maine during peak season that the price can fall even lower. If a family manages their food stamps and has enough to purchase a few lobsters on sale, I’m hardly going to begrudge them the pleasure. Naturally, it’s also possible that the lobsters are being purchased for barter or resale. The lobsters might be covering part of this months rent, or be sold to pay for a visit to the doctor’s office.

  45. 45
    weaselone says:

    @bemused: It’s also important to note that “won’t” and “unwilling” or not synonymous with “unable to work”, or “unable to find work.” There is also no indication that “work” requires any compensation let alone a level sufficient to obviate the need for assistance in order to qualify as such.

  46. 46
    Grung_e_Gene says:

    Welcome to the Ultra-Reactionary land of Neo-Feudalism. There is an assault on all Progressive gains of the 20th century. The 1% know by attacking all things the efforts to combat them have been fragmented so they’ve won successes for Fracking, for neutering the EPA, for eliminating SNAP, for watering down Healthcare Reform, for combating Science (Evolution and Climate Change), for demonizing the poor, for attacking Unions, for turning women into chattel.

    Republicans have a message for Americans their Government will not help you. But, they have willing Chuck Todd’s who shrug and say ‘Well, the Republicans claim their slashing of SNAP, their voting to eliminate the Clean Air and Water Act of 1972, and their 40+ votes against the ACA are actually FREEDOM… So who are we in the Media to say differently.’

  47. 47
    RaflW says:

    @IowaOldLady: This is the key, the universal applicability. And the GOP knows it.

    As soon as receiving SSI brands you as poor, SSI is en route to 1000 cuts.

    My gripe is that we should stop Medicare and SSI taxable income caps, or at the very least raise the cap 50 or 100K.

  48. 48
    Linnaeus says:

    Fuck these people. Just fuck them.

  49. 49
    amk says:

    @Linnaeus: you betcher.

  50. 50

    @The Sailor:

    Compounding pharmacies absolutely have an important place in medical care. The company G works for is technically a compounding pharmacy because they mix bags of intravenous drugs and nutrition for patients to the doctor’s and dietician’s exact specifications, which is much more accurate than trying to guess what might be best of the existing manufactured drugs. I’ve also used a compounding pharmacy to get a drug for my dying cat (they mixed a steroid with fish oil to try and make it more palatable) and for an anti-rosacea cream in a specific base that was not available commercially.

    G was horrified when he heard about the meningitis cases because that Mass. pharmacy was breaking the law and selling across state lines. Compounding pharmacies are only allowed to operate in a single state and his company cannot sell to customers in other states — California would shut them down immediately if they even tried.

    The problem is not that compounding pharmacies exist, it’s that the state of Texas is run by assholes who refuse to find a different drug to use for lethal injection. Don’t demonize compounding pharmacies — it’s very likely that you or a family member will need one someday, if you haven’t used one already.

  51. 51

    Can I please be released from moderation for discussing the issue that The Sailor brought up even though the name of the type of business is forbidden by FYWP? Kthxbai.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I always say, “Tax the Rich, ’cause that’s where the money is.”

    Yeah, I’m most of the way to thinking “tax the rich” should be a goal in and of itself. The last century or two have demonstrated that concentrated wealth is absolutely toxic to the survival of a democracy.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    Ironically, the Thessalonians quote was popular among Communists after Lenin used it to describe the bourgeoisie who reap the profits off of the labor of others. Due to the ever shifting political landscape, I am not sure what is right, left, capitalist, or communist anymore. Stupidity makes for strange bedfellows.

    There was a phase in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century when capitalists were still new enough as an established center of power that they got a lot of shit from both sides, the left and the right, the left because of the exploitation that occurred under the new system, the right because capitalism was destroying their traditional, old-fashioned, agrarian way of life (not to mention that elites like European aristocrats and American plantation owners didn’t like being upstaged by the urban merchant class one bit).

    IMO that’s a lot of the reason for why anticapitalist messages a hundred years ago had such a broad appeal. Marxists quoting the Bible while Christian churches preached social justice not unlike Marx’s is one symptom of that. Of course, nowadays the entire conservative side of the aisle, at least in America, is firmly on the side of big capitalism.

  54. 54
    Gretchen says:

    @MomSense: good link about the combat vet on food stamps. It’s good that we make sure that they get enough to eat, and despicable that we don’t pay them enough to eat without food stamps. This self-righteous talk in Congress makes me sick. Especially when you consider that a lot of food stamp benefits goes towards making sure kids don’t go hungry. Who wants to let kids go hungry?

  55. 55
    MaryJane says:

    @kathleen:

    Those links haven’t been updated in forever. Benen writes for The Maddow Blog now.

  56. 56
    Linnaeus says:

    @Chris:

    Yeah, I’m most of the way to thinking “tax the rich” should be a goal in and of itself. The last century or two have demonstrated that concentrated wealth is absolutely toxic to the survival of a democracy.

    Hell, Aristotle made the argument that concentrated wealth and democracy do not go together well. Now, he didn’t think the solution was more democracy, but he at least recognized the basic problem over 2,000 years ago.

  57. 57

    @MomSense: From that same source, different essay:

    To try to describe what PTSD feels like to someone who doesn’t have it is painfully difficult, not only because there’s still a stigma attached to PTSD [the whole snapping and getting violent kind of stigma], but because PTSD itself makes it hard to describe anything.

    The impairment of the ability to concentrate being the obvious reason why. That, and the simple task of just remembering how I used to write before I went to war are not coming easily to me anymore. Words used to flow off the page for me. I used to command them and could unleash thousands in a matter of minutes.

    You can join Team Bella Q to help fight stigma. Link from my nym to the 2013 Stigma busting Stroll. This is a make or break year for our chapter, and there are lots of veterans on “welfare” and with PTSD in that community. It’s among our biggest areas of outreach and support – if we can continue we plan to start veterans specific support groups, including one in the next county over. Any help will be enormously appreciated and tax letters will be emailed.

  58. 58
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Chris: in my saner moments, current events seem absolutely baffling.

    During the Reagan years, at least, the supply siders were pretending their program would benefit everybody. The rising tide was going to lift all the boats, so if we just cut taxes, the extra economic growth was going to make everybody better off. Same thing was true of Free Trade. Yes, there were going to be disruptions, but the economy was going to grow, so our standard of living would go up with per capita GDP.

    Except, that’s not what happened. Yes, the economy grew, but all the marginal growth was captured by a tiny fraction at the top. There is no reason for a democracy to tolerate this situation. By now, the proper response to “your liberal tax policies will stifle Economic Growth!” should be “So?”

    The slogan, “Vote for my tax cut because you’re better off when I’m rich” at least is a plausible way to gain votes. “Vote for my tax cut even though it won’t make you better off because I like being rich” ought to be harder to sell.

  59. 59
    CVS says:

    It’s one thing for the rich to despise the poor. But I have never under stood how poor Republicans can despise the poor, too. I guess some people just hate, period.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    I suppose they

    had

    to say “the rising tide will lift all boats” back in the eighties when they were just setting up the system. Only once that system becomes entrenched enough do they get secure enough to start saying “fuck you, stay poor or die, it’s your place.”

    @CVS:

    I think the image of how many poor people vote Republican’s overstated. Even among white people, voting’s become more class based in the last few decades, not less. Not to say that there aren’t stereotypical poor white racists voting against their interests, or that they can’t be the majority of poor whites depending on what part of the country you’re in. But the bulk of the Republican base has always been middle class white racists, who see the poor whites as just an albino version of the blacks and Latinos mooching off their taxes.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: But the bulk of the Republican base has always been middle class white racists, who see the poor whites as just an albino version of the blacks and Latinos mooching off their taxes.

    Suburban strivers? They have got to feel the cold wind at their necks by this point.

    But of course a hallmark of dysfunction is how the sufferer does not do the sensible thing; they reach for denial, compensation, and projection instead.

  62. 62
    tam1MI says:

    We also have to do whatever it fucking takes WIFT to win the House in 2014.

    Too late. I heard the same bunch who were proclaiming they weren’t going to go to the polls (and didn’t) in 2010 because of the public option debacle saying they aren’t going to go to the polls in 2014 because of Syria.

    It’s always been one of the biggest problems on our side of the aisle. Conservatives turn out and vote no matter what. Liberals stay home in a petulant pout if they don’t get their way on everything.

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