Friday, December 02, 2011

Are There No Work Houses?

So, it's Newt Gingrich's turn to challenge Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP nomination. I had a hunch this was going to happen almost as soon as he announced he would be a candidate. I knew that he would run an unconventional campaign, but I figured he would be just the one to at least make things fun, although I certainly didn't think he would pull ahead at a crucial time. After all, serious candidates don't take a luxury vacation cruise around Greece in the middle of a race, thereby angering his senior staff enough to walk out on him. But he's pulled it off.

Newt hasn't changed much over the years (beyond putting more weight on). He still makes statements that make Republicans cringe. For example, at a recent debate he suggested that a more humane approach to immigration was in order and that the defense budget could be cut to eliminate some of the waste (see my post here). Most of the post debate coverage focused on those statements, which couldn't have made party regulars very happy.

More recently, he used child labor laws as an example of federal regulations running amok. Yes, child labor laws. He suggested little kids could replace expensive school janitors by mopping the floors and cleaning the rest rooms and being paid a little money, thereby gaining valuable work and life experience. Pretty radical stuff, that.

Yesterday he went even further in clarifying those remarks, and even I suffered a little whiplash at his audacity.

"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works," Gingrich replied. "So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal."

As I thought about it a little, however, it occurred to me that such a statement was audacious only because Newt said out loud what a lot of Republicans, especially the 1% and those who worship them, believe. The poor are poor because they are lazy and won't work. They get their money through crime. They do not provide good role models for their children and so the poverty and the life of crime are perpetuated.

The fact that those premises are simply not true and are unwarranted doesn't matter. What matters is lowering taxes by throwing adults out of work and paying their children pennies for doing the same job. What matters is that those at the bottom of the ladder stay there even though more and more Americans are beginning to join them.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge.

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Blogger the bewilderness said...

He really is a dreadful Grinch. I have thought right along that he was running for Vice. He hasn't bothered to do what is necessary to get on the ballot of primaries and has no ground game. KWIM? He is either just bloviating to make some bucks like Cain was when he paid himself out of campaign money for consulting with himself, or running for Vice. That is an old Grinch scam that lots of grifters copy now.
I don't think he will get vice, mind you. The days when they would pick on of their fellow campaigners is dead and gone.

10:54 PM  

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