This pretty much sums up my thoughts on social programs, spending in general, and the selfish, smug, self-satisfied fuckers who like to snort over dinner about how poor people just don’t work hard enough to deserve the kinds of things they have:

She makes not just enough money, but a “great deal of money.” How dare anyone take it away for something so frivolous as feeding a poor child? And yet Republicans, through their actions in blurring the lines between church and state, have become the “party of faith.” Because they say so. Because they are bold in their actions and snarling in their defense.

We need to be just as adamant. We need to not hide behind any abstraction or evasion. We need to be unafraid to address this voter and say “I am going to take some of your money, and give it to that poor kid, because it’s more important — both to the child and to society — that he eat, rather than that you have an extra week in Cabo.”

Note that we should not pretend that “a program will take your money.” Or “the government will take your money.” This is a democracy, and we are the government. I will take your money. I will. Some of that money you worked hard for and want to keep. I will give it to a kid who is hungry. If your concern is that poverty should be addressed by individuals, then there’s a simple solution: feed him. If there are no poor children needing food, I won’t have to take anything for them. If your position is that people would be more generous if only the government would stay out of it, then sorry. I’m not willing to put this child at risk to as part of your experiment. Besides, if that were true, then why were their more hungry kids before we started these programs to give them a little breakfast? If your position is that your being able to keep all your money is more important than a child being fed, then I simply think you’re wrong. And sick. You want to keep that money? You better beat me at the polls.

The only problem with class warfare in this country is that it’s been so one-sided.


5 thoughts on “Democracy

  1. Perhaps the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats can imagine themselves needing government assistance or at the very least can empathize with those who do–and thus do not mind putting money into social programs–whereas Republicans cannot.

  2. The real and only significant difference between Repubs and Democrats is that the Repubs cater to the racists and to those whose religion is steeped in hatred for people not exactly like them. The Democrats are left trying to win with votes only from urban areas and the poor. Beyond that, the parties are so overlapping they are inseparable.

  3. greed is not good.
    envy is a SIN.
    therefore, republikkkan is EVIL.

  4. I am a democrat; I hesitate to identify with the present-day Party, however, because, stunningly, Nancy Pelosi can continue to look herself in the mirror after this, and apparently has no problem pretending to continue to represent the people who voted for her, while doing none of the things those people voted for her to do:
    By Dana Milbank
    Wednesday, October 10, 2007; A02
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in a determinedly good mood when she sat down to lunch with reporters yesterday. She entered the room beaming and, over the course of an hour, smiled no fewer than 31 times and got off at least 23 laughs.
    But her spirits soured instantly when somebody asked about the anger of the Democratic “base” over her failure to end the war in Iraq.
    “Look,” she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. “I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things — Buddhas? I don’t know what they were — couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk.”
    Unsmilingly, she continued: “If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment.”
    Though opposed to the war herself, Pelosi has for months been a target of an antiwar movement that believes she hasn’t done enough. Cindy Sheehan has announced a symbolic challenge to Pelosi in California’s 8th Congressional District. And the speaker is seething.
    “We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow,” Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their “passion,” Pelosi called it “a waste of time” for them to target Democrats. “They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”
    It was a rather fierce response to the party’s liberal base, which frightens many a congressional Democrat. But it wasn’t out of character for the new speaker. Pelosi’s fixed and constant smile makes her appear as if she is cutting an ad for a whitening toothpaste. But when you listen to the words that come from her grinning maw, the smile seems more akin to that of a barracuda.
    One reporter asked about Democratic lawmakers who proposed a tax increase for the war. “They were not making legislation; they were making a point,” Pelosi judged.
    Another asked about a Republican congressman’s complaints that the word “God” was removed from certificates accompanying congressional flags. “I don’t know what his point is,” Pelosi volleyed.
    Complaints that she didn’t go far enough on climate-change legislation? “We did not say we were going to do any more than we did.”
    The Senate’s stalemate on the war? “We in the House will not be confining our legislation initiatives to what is legislatively possible in the Senate.”
    Pelosi admitted no mistakes and claimed no regrets as she reflected on her first session in the speaker’s chair. “I’m very proud of the work of this Congress,” she declared. Evidently so: She repeated how “proud” she was nine times. Passing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission made her “very proud,” while energy legislation made her “very, very proud,” and new ethics rules made her “especially proud.”
    “What do you see as your greatest mistake?” asked one reporter.
    Pelosi smiled. “Why don’t you tell me?” she proposed. She smiled again, then laughed. ” ‘Cause I think we’re doing just great.” She laughed again.
    Even those approval ratings for Congress, in the teens and 20s, didn’t evoke regrets. “I don’t like the numbers for Congress,” she admitted, but “I’m very pleased with the Democratic numbers.” She then took an unusual detour into polling minutiae. “Today the Rasmussen numbers were the third time that we were double-digit ahead in the generic,” she reported, “and the third month in a row we were in the high 40s.”
    Holders of high office typically avoid discussions like that because it makes them look, well, political. But Pelosi did not hesitate to plunge into the political, explaining that “it was so important for us to bring the president’s numbers down two years ago on Social Security” because it discouraged Republican candidates from running for Congress.
    Pelosi may have realized that her words sounded too calculating, for at one point she begged the reporters’ indulgence for her to “be allowed a partisan moment.” She smiled at her joke, then chuckled.
    The ready grin seemed at odds with other body language that suggested Pelosi was not having an enjoyable lunch. She ignored her salad and roll, then waved off the chicken and vegetables and left her dessert untouched. “The tea is fine,” she told the waiter, taking her first sip more than halfway through the lunch.
    But the smile had its uses. She smiled warmly while telling a reporter in the room that his story was completely wrong. She laughed heartily when somebody mentioned the awkward interview in which Whoopi Goldberg expressed a lust for Pelosi’s husband. She grinned when mentioning the fight over children’s health care. And she laughed while discussing how she has “striven” to work with Bush on Iraq. “Is that a word? ‘Striven’? ” she asked.
    It seemed that only the antiwar advocates had the power to wipe the smile off Pelosi’s face. Speaking about ethics legislation, she boasted that “we have drained the swamp” in Congress and pleased government watchdog groups. “At last,” she added, “some advocates from the outside who are satisfied.”

  5. Actually, it’s: “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”. Money, in and of itself, is just a socially constructed expression of value and a means of exchange. And I vote for exchanging it with those less fortunate than me – and no, that’s not patronising, that’s life. I’ve been lucky and I recognise that. Others have not, for whatever reason.

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