Part 3—Lacking a glimmer of hope: President Obama was right!
Being a great uncle is very hard work, as we learned in Durham last weekend. Between the soccer, the books and and the hand-clapping games, there’s little time for anything else.
If you want to follow the news, you’ll be getting the news in mere glimpses and glimmers.
That said, we got the chance to watch a bit of the new cable show, Up With Chris Hayes, as we lounged in our flawless Super 8 suite before our duties started last Saturday. At that time of day, we would normally be at our local bagel joint, plowing through the Saturday Post.
Briefly freed by a great uncle's schedule, we were eager to catch a glimpse of Hayes’ new program.
Alas! Despite the program’s name, the analysts’ faces fell as Hayes led a discussion about last week’s number-one dumb discussion. Quite correctly, Hayes started by rolling his eyes at this ludicrous flap—a flap which grew from Hilary Rosen’s snide remark concerning Ann Romney’s history as a stay-at-home mom.
There’s no doubt about it! A pile of faux outrage was put on display as folk discussed this topic last week. The analysts agreed with Hayes’s remarks as he opened the segment:
HAYES (4/14/12): You have probably heard by now, whether directly or through osmosis, all the faux outrage on the campaign trail this week about Ann Romney and her role as a stay-at-home mom. The manufactured controversy was prompted by a stray comment on CNN made by an analyst who was in no way affiliated officially with the Obama campaign.To watch this full segment, click here.
To be truthful, Hayes’ cable channel is deeply involved in the manufacture of faux controversy too. How many times will they play the tape of Romney’s remark about Michigan’s trees, while suggesting that we can draw some meaning from this pointless jest? But when nonsense is churned by Big Ed or Lawrence, that isn’t Hayes’ fault or doing. And last week’s flap about Rosen’s comment truly was manufactured, faux—largely because, as Hayes pointed out, Rosen spoke for no one but herself when she made her snide, fleeting remark.
Unfortunately, Hayes was soon off in the tribal weeds and the analysts’ faces fell. Hayes is plainly smarter, and better informed, than many players on his channel. For that reason, the analysts teared up, then openly cried, as his tribal devotion overwhelmed his smarts and good sense:
HAYES (continuing directly): But the theatrics obscure a much deeper and more fundamental problem with the way our government and society values the work of women, either inside the home or out.At this point, Hayes played tape of Romney praising “the idea that people who are receiving assistance, welfare assistance, have a responsibility of working.” In his remarks, Romney said that he wanted such individuals “to have the dignity of work.”
When Mitt Romney responded to the controversy in a speech to the NRA Friday, he said, quote, “I happen to believe that all moms are working moms”—all moms are working moms. But that hasn’t always been the tune of Republicans on this issue. An entire massive sea change in federal policy, the welfare reform act of 1996, was predicated on the fundamental notion that mothers on welfare needed to get out of the home and go to work and that staying at home and caring for their children did not count as “work.” In fact, as recently as this year, Mitt Romney himself campaigned on the proposition that meaningful welfare reform should require parents with children to get out of the home and into the work force.
“This really angers me, it genuinely angers me,” Hayes now said. “...It seems to me there’s a double standard in what we call ‘work’”
By now, the analysts were bawling. Here’s why:
Let’s start with the way Hayes framed this discussion—a discussion which had him genuinely angry. Hayes told his channel’s liberal viewers that Republicans haven’t always sung the same (semantic) tune on this score. He quickly cited the welfare reform act of 1996 as part of his evidence.
But the welfare reform act of 1996 passed with considerable Democratic support. A fellow named Clinton signed the bill, and 25 Democratic senators voted aye. (21 voted no.) The aye votes included such well-known persons as Joe Biden, Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Harry Reid. (Also voting aye: Byrd, Harkin, Levin, Mikulski, Rockefeller, Wyden.)
In the House, Democrats split their votes, 98-98. Voting aye were the following players, a group which included six future senators and a serious White House candidate. (Cardin, DeFazio, Dicks, Dingell, Durbin, Fazio, Frost, Hamilton, Hoyer, Johnston, Kanjorski, Kaptur, Lincoln, Lowey, Meehan, Murtha, Reed, Richardson, Torricelli.)
Democrats have often talked about work the same way Romney does! But so what? Quite quickly, Hayes was in the semantic weeds, quoting the Mittster as he praised "the dignity of work." But whatever you think of the welfare reform—whatever you think of the logic and values behind it; whatever you think of its semantics—this is not a Republican manifestation, except in the tribalized fields MSNBC now likes to plow.
Hayes was soon far off in the semantic weeds. He savaged Romney for alleged semantic inconsistency—alleged inconsistency which has also been voiced by major Democrats down through the years. And then, omigod! He threw to Princeton’s Betsey Stevenson, who punished the world with the following consummate nonsense:
STEVENSON: So it’s a “bad mom, good mom” double standard and I mean that’s the subtext of it and that’s what’s so galling. You know, for poor moms, for single moms, the idea is, “You know what? Your kids are going to be better off in day care because you’re just not that good of a mom. And so you should go to work.” Now, if you’re a rich mom—rich married mom—you’re a good mom. We want you to stay home so in fact we’re going to subsidize that through the tax code.Good God. With apologies to Paul Krugman, it’s impossible to be that dumb unless you’re a Princeton professor! We were surprised by Hayes’ failure to impose some basic sense on this utterly foolish discussion—a discussion which was extremely foolish no matter what you think about the logic of “welfare reform.”
Earth to tribe: Overwhelmingly, voters will understand the logic of this type of “welfare reform” in a very different way. Rightly or wrongly, they will draw a very basic distinction between stay-at-home mothers who are supported by public assistance (welfare) and stay-at-home mothers who aren’t. In this context, when Romney (and many Democrats) discuss “the dignity of work,” they are referring to “the dignity of supporting yourself and your family through your own earnings.”
Whatever you may think of this type of “welfare reform,” the wide range of voters will understand the logic of Romney’s remarks in that way. When liberals parse his remarks as Stevenson did, they are simply begging for obliteration at the polls. We were stunned to see a smart person like Hayes let this foolish discussion proceed without the slightest attempt to introduce the planet’s most obvious points of clarification.
It’s fine with us if Hayes is angry about this type of welfare reform. (Although you’ll never see his channel’s more famous “liberals” stoop to such a boring discussion.) Many people hotly opposed the 1996 bill, including the editorial boards of both the Washington Post and the New York Times.
If Hayes thinks this legislation was unwise, that’s fine with us. We'd love to see a discussion, minus the work of the clowns.
But the semantics and logic displayed by Romney are those of many Democrats. Presumably, this would include a fellow named Barack Obama. Meanwhile, however much we may pity the children exposed to the logic of Princeton professors, might we suggest that folk like Stevenson be kept off our brave new liberal air—if we want to advance progressive interests within the American political context.
In yesterday’s post, Kevin Drum rolled his eyes at the direction this nonsense has now taken. He decried the “tone deaf” political turn this has taken among some in our tribe.
For ourselves, our reaction came on Saturday morning in a brief break from a great uncle’s duties. In our own brief glimpse of a new cable program, we learned to have even less faith in the brave new liberal world the corporate suits are helping us at The One True Liberal Channel.
Maybe it was just a rare bad segment; we got our news last weekend in glimmers. But the analysts were down, way down, after taking in Up With Chris Hayes.
Preview of Anonymous argument:ReplyDelete
"our brave new liberal air... to advance progressive interests within the American political context"
But *I* don't know anyone who watches MSNBC. Therefore, it is not an important part of the American political context.
Parents supporting their own children is ideal especially if a parent is at home. Government supporting parents' children is the most undesirable arrangement for parents, children, and taxpayers. If this is now beyond the comprehension of Democrats this country is worse off than anyone thought.ReplyDelete
No, the "most undesirable arrangement" is not government support -- it is poverty, lack of education and opportunity.Delete
If that is beyond the comprehension of Republicans (a proposition that has as at least as sound a basis as your own), then this country is exactly as badly off as most realize.
Funny thing, I read this exact same analysis yesterday on one of those sites that claim there is massive liberal bias in the media.ReplyDelete
What's next, Mr. Somerby comparing the grade school age Obama in Indonesia to family man Romney's faux paws?
So you don't care if the analysis is correct or not, just which sites offer it. Doesn't that mean you are not thinking for yourself, just trusting that certain web sites always have the wrong ideas?
Why challenge Mr. Somerby on the facts?Delete
He doesn't do corrections.
Hey Real! Did you catch this?Delete
"Good God. With apologies to Paul Krugman, it’s impossible to be that dumb unless you’re a Princeton professor!"
And here all this time we thought that anti-intellectual bias agin them "librul, East coast, Ivy League perfessors" was the sole purview of Rush and his dittoheads.
Well, Somerby was right the other day. There is a growing class of "progressive" dittoheads as well.
All you need to do to find them is read the combox of this blog.
"There is a growing class of "progressive" dittoheads as well.Delete
Then maybe you or Mr. Somerby can tell us who the leader of these "progressive" dittoheads is.
Who on the "progressive" side has been made an honorary member of congress, like Limbaugh was, for their efforts in getting democrats elected?
Allow me to clarify. Somerby has his own "dittoheads" At least three or four of them. Of course, I do not compare his influence to that of Rush Limbaugh (who still seems to be in a world of hurt, despite Somerby's attempt to ride to his rescue through the game of false equivalency with Bill Maher.)Delete
We also have a "tree falls in the forest" question with Up with Chris Hayes." The show airs at 8 a.m. Saturday. So if a tree falls in the forest, and only Somerby hears it, is it of vital national importance?
And Good Lordy, he is now down to parsing shows on Saturday mornings to find examples of where "progressives" are killing their own cause.
No so-called evidence of "liberal" or "progressive" ditto-head-edness is legitimate!Delete
If it occurs in the morning, everyone is asleep anyway!
If it occurs in primetime, *I* don't know any liberals who watch those shows!
If it occurs in the New York Times, why aren't you covering other papers, Somerby!
If you disagree, you are a Somerby ditto-head!
I, Anonymous, have spoken!
And mega-dittoes to you too!Delete
"The show airs at 8 a.m. Saturday."Delete
And also on Sunday for 2 hours.
If Mr. Somerby was really interested in media criticism rather than propaganda he wouldn't cherry pick one segment and ask us to believe it represents the entire 4 hours broadcast during the weekend.
Ah, but that one segment had the dreadfully dumb "Princeton professor" and perfectly encapsulated absolutely everything wrong with the "mainstream 'press corps' and the american discourse."Delete
Don't you see? If not, one of Bob's dittoheads will be along shortly to further explain.
Syllogisms can prove any point I want, if I don't understand the difference between SOME and ALL!Delete
And I want VERY, VERY badly to disparage Somerby. VERY badly.
If you tell me I'm doing it WRONG, I've got this new LOGIC that works EVERY time: you are stupid BECAUSE you are on Bob's SIDE. Works EVERY time!
Face it, "people don't watch those shows" because they suck. Nothing at all wrong with pointing that out and insisting on better. While the Tea Party raged "our" top cable guy giggled and busied himself with stories of Carrie Prejean's breast implants. Meanwhile a mandate was pissed away. Foolishness has consequences. Apparently some of you puppy dogs enjoy having your noses rubbed in it.Delete
Please, tell us: which one was that site that had this "exact same analysis" -- don't spare the details, man!ReplyDelete
I don't give links to right wing sites, since clicks are the lifeblood of any site.Delete
However, there is no doubt this posting by Mr. Somerby is nothing more than a warmed over version of the explanation by Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg:
"Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law."
She's on Romney's payroll. What's Mr. Somerby's excuse?
OK, so we *won't* be finding that right-wing sites are providing "the exact same analysis" -- cools.Delete
Instead, we should simply say, part of Somerby's (and Kevin Drum's) case coincides with part of Romney's, and..
therefore we can reasonably dismiss Somerby (and Drum, at the far-right Mother Jones) with regard to the political stupidity of going down this path. Full speed ahead.
"therefore we can reasonably dismiss Somerby (and Drum, at the far-right Mother Jones) with regard to the political stupidity of going down this path."Delete
And that's more evidence of the lack of "dittoheads" on the progressive side of the ledger.
There is a difference between disagreeing with and dismissing. Dittoheads tend to do the latter instead of the former. Like if an idea comes from someone on the wrong side, it can be dismissed without further thought or comment.
Don't waste your breath. The Howler has found it's true fan base, at last. It's doubtful these people are liberals in any defensible sense, but who cares, really -- the result of their preoccupations, like the result of Somerby's preoccupations, is to enforce prevailing interests. Why, they ask? Because
1) any preoccupation with a scrupulous discourse, even assuming these people really want it, is a waste of time in a mass-media culture where the best one can hope to do is gain temporary rhetorical advantage, and where the electorate will be allowed no departures from orthodoxy, from either party; and
2) reality is never discussed here anyway. What's reality, the Howler fans ask? I'll quote a quote from a typically tribal left-leaning site, which (unlike this one) actually has useful information from time to time:
"We are in a depression, but not because we don’t know how to remedy the problem. We are in a depression because it is our revealed preference, as a polity, not to remedy the problem. We are choosing continued depression because we prefer it to the alternatives.
"[...] the preferences of developed, aging polities — first Japan, now the United States and Europe — are obvious to a dispassionate observer. Their overwhelming priority is to protect the purchasing power of incumbent creditors. That’s it. That’s everything. All other considerations are secondary."
Pretty simple, no? Unfortunately, focusing on MSBNC and the ladies of the NYT op-ed won't quite get to this or any other pressing reality of the American present.
But of course, if the press corps had been nice to Al Gore in 2000, the American reality would be altogether different today. The Howler never explains how or why -- after all, it's not as if the record of the Clinton/Gore period is a secret, and our present course was well-established under that regime -- but wtf.....
Reality is what I say it is.Delete
Unlike myself, you inferior Howler lot cannot hold more than one thought in your heads at a time.
That I collapse the Howler's work into a laughable construction reveals only my own brilliance.
I have spoken.
Ah, no sir, I am no relativist. Realty is immanent and obvious. Anybody who looks at American today sees it and knows it.Delete
Note that we're not talking here about eternal truths. Only about the way USA Corp is run, which is plain to anyone with eyes and ears.
Only at places like this, and of course mass-media, is the world make-believe.
Me, make-believe channeling Somerby: "if the press corps had been nice to Al Gore in 2000, the American reality would be altogether different today."Delete
Of course, I am smart enough to see that Reality (which means what matters to me, Anonymous), would have been no different under a Gore presidency than under it was Bush.
Only a fool (or a Somerby-reader, but I repeat myself) could think otherwise.
Everything the Howler mentions is irrelevant to outcomes that matter.
Only Federal government-offered inflation-protected savings accounts can solve the problems that really matter!
You are a fool and a buffoon.
In regards to "reality," you write:
"Anybody who looks at American today sees it and knows it."
You are explaining, of course, the way *you* see things, and anyone who doesn't see things your way is not worth having a discussion with. I bet you win a lot of arguments (by ending them when *you* think they're done), but not many friends.
Yeah, kinda like it would be futile to discuss anything with somebody who thinks he should determine just who does and does not deserve to speak.Delete
Such as this:
"Meanwhile, however much we may pity the children exposed to the logic of Princeton professors, might we suggest that folk like Stevenson be kept off our brave new liberal air—if we want to advance progressive interests within the American political context."
If you think that your post of 10:00 and that paragraph from Somerby (that was preceded by a clear account of Stevenson's failure of logic) have the same level of humility, then we do indeed live in different realities.
Sorry, but that was my post at 11:58, but not mine at 10:00.Delete
But of course, if you were more interested in addressing the ideas instead of the person making them, it wouldn't make any difference.
Instead, you ass/u/me and wind up looking like a fool once again.
Instead of refuting anon 10:00 a.m., you call him/her a friendless fool and buffoon, and this is supposed to pass as an example of your morally superior, friend-winning and argumentatively sounder approach to public policy questions.
Too funny for words.... Keep it up, bro, you're case in point.
Anon 12:25 and 11:58,Delete
First, I got no problem with slamming other posters. I just think it is cowardly to do it in order to get out from under an argument. Second, you compared the Anon post at 10:00 to a snippet from Somerby, I disagreed with that comparison and gave a reason. I have more reasons, if you want to go further. But you didn't respond to the ideas, did you?
My post was not supposed to pass as an example of anything but my disgust with Anon of 10:00's post. Are you saying that I should have "refuted" Anon of 10:00's statement "Realty is immanent and obvious."?
Glad to hear you think that your expressions of disgust will be of general interest here. For a fellow given to instructing other posters about what's appropriate and what isn't, and who's a fool and who isn't, you're proving remarkably tolerant of Number One.
There was plenty you could have refuted -- the claim, for example, that this blog is irrelevant to the world as we know it and that the Howler defenders, you among them, are, knowingly or unknowingly, part of the deception (or scam, as the case may be).
But never mind. Just keep up the song and dance, it's gets better with every foray of yours.
I would like to offer my heartfelt, sincere apologies to all of the posters here who have handles. I do not feel morally superior to any of you, and I will try in the future to proofread better so as not to come off that way. The named posters on the site, with the exception of that assh@le Hypo, are very informative and interesting, and I enjoy reading you all. Even the ones who hold very different views, maybe especially those (I'm looking at you David in Cal). But there are a group of posters here that I really dislike. They are not all of, but some of the people who post as Anonymous. They are hyenas in the grass, cowardly lobbing whining insults and giggling over the confusion they create by posting often but not creating handles. They get me angry, and I feed them (I know, I see the zoo-like signs). I apologize to all of the other posters.Delete
Even better! You apologize, but only to the people you like, not the ones you insulted -- the zoo animals who, unlike the good people here, have no "handles"!
Wasn't aware that the likes of "Hypo", "Swan" and "David in Cal", and whatever other monikers these folks may introduce were actual identities which bind these folks to responsible discourse (unlike the evil handle-less), but
it's great to know that Hypo is somebody, unlike Anonymous.
Amen Anonymous 9:32. I'd only add that there's something fitting about the fact that this site is descending into a debating society between two people named Anonymous. Most other sentient beings have walked away from this bizarre, monomaniacal precinct, where the host is always right, never corrects his own many errors, "Clinton, then Gore" are progressives, and (the gruesome) Maureen Dowd and (astute) Frank Rich cost Gore the 2000 election. Oh, and The Professors are always Dumb, even though there are myriad examples of progressive Professors are anything but. Have at it Anonymous and Anonymous!Delete
I beg the forgiveness of Swan and David in Cal for somehow bringing their good names into this ugliness. I promise, from this day forward, to no longer respond to those posters that are such cowards as to hurl insults at the writer of this blog and those that enjoy reading it without having the decency to at least sign a name to their writings.Delete
Hypo, the mind reader. Well, instead of all those vile reasons, which in your mind have got to be the ONLY reasons anybody would post "anonymously" (as if Hypo is your real name!), allow me to explain why I choose not to post under a handle.Delete
1. The blog allows it. Don't like it, take it up with the guy who owns it.
2. It forces a person to address the ideas expressed, not the person expressing them which is related to:
3. Tribalism. You don't get to choose your "friends" and "enemies" and choose up sides if everyone chooses to pose under the same "anonymous."
Not that there is anything wrong with choosing a handle, or that there aren't good reasons for doing so, I'd rather avoid silly little people who play silly little blog games and would rather go to the ad hominem than the ideas.
And if that shoe is your size . . .
"In this context, when Romney (and many Democrats) discuss “the dignity of work,” they are referring to “the dignity of supporting yourself and your family through your own earnings.”ReplyDelete
Yeah, Bob. There is a lot of dignity in emptying bedpans, vacuuming hotel rooms, standing at a cash register for hours, and STILL not making enough money to pull you and your kids out of poverty while the CEO of the place you work for builds an elevator in his garage for all his cars.
THIS is what the vast majority of voters will understand: Ann Romney had a choice between a career (not just a minimum wage job) and staying at home to raise her kids.
This is a choice that even two-parent, middle-class families no longer have.
There is more dignity in the labor you describe than collecting money from the taxpayer to feed your children so that you avoid such labor.Delete
I don't even understand what Bob is on about here. The point of the Hayes discussion wasn't about whether welfare reform was a good or bad thing. The point was that Romney and other Republicans made a whole to-do about how reprehensible it is to suggest that stay-at-home-moms don't "work," and yet in their rhetoric on other topics there is, in fact, an obvious distinction between mothering and work. If they didn't believe that, they wouldn't talk about how it was essential for mothers receiving welfare to "work." If they truly believed that motherhood was work, they would use different terminology even when they were talking about poor moms rather than rich moms.ReplyDelete
In other words, Republicans have a mile-long paper trail of differentiating between kinds of work, do not respect this special haven where "all moms are working moms," and are generally talking out of their nether orifices when they pretend to be defending motherhood against Democratic detractors. That's why it's a particularly faux outrage: not just because media frenzies about offhand remarks are always stupid, but because this one is transparently, cynically stupid, because they don't even believe what they claim to believe in ginning up the outrage.
Hayes is analyzing _the rhetoric_, not the policy. Just like Bob Somerby is very concerned with how the press _talks about_ what the Buffett Rule is, not whether the Buffett Rule is worth doing.
"The point of the Hayes discussion wasn't about whether welfare reform was a good or bad thing."Delete
You are correct.
Mr. Somerby lazily picked up the spin from Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg and ran with it:
"Moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that President Clinton signed into law."
And wasn't there a time when Somerby used to rail against those who would lazily pick up campaign spin?Delete
"to rail against those who would lazily pick up campaign spin?"Delete
Ordinarily, when "spin" is at variance to the facts, some debunking might be in order.
So far, what I see quoted from Henneberg here isn't factually wrong.
Whether Somerby was influenced by Henneberg (whether he "lazily picked up" her spin) is far from proven in any event.
It became spin when it was spun as a way out of "Poor stay-at-home moms don't have dignity until they get a job."Delete
Poor stay at home moms were not accused of not having dignity, parents who do not get a job and stay home while the taxpayer subsidizes their children were accused of not having dignity.Delete
You know, back in the day, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program was something that both Bob Dole and George McGovern could agree as something very good for the nation on several levels.Delete
Now, I suppose, to some people it is just "the taxpayer subsidizes their children."
What flyprwhig said (and maybe an anonymous here or there, but I can't keep track -- some kind of handle, please!).ReplyDelete
Chris Hayes show(s) not perfect, but among the best around. Bob S. should watch more often -- he might not be so quick to pounce.
But, but, but . . . Chris Hayes is on the vile, evil MSNBC which is producing its own legion of unthinking dittoheads, no different from Rush Limbaugh groupies. And he sometimes has (gasp!) professors from Princeton as his guests.Delete
Are Somerby's followers permitted to watch anything on MSNBC? Won't their IQs be dragged down?
Frankly, anyone can understand that Rosen was talking about WORK as in go out and have a job work. Stay at home parenting, of either sex, has LONG been a result of economic privilege in this country. So, where's the controversy? And what exactly does the Dems supporting Clinton's Welfare reform have to do with that?ReplyDelete
It seems to me that Hayes was making an unstated assumption. He deduces that by supporting limitations on welfare to single mothers, the Reps proved that they don't think single mothers do real work at home. In other words, Hayes evidently believes that Reps can't possibly approve of some act or institution (such as the work that single mothers do at home), unless they give money to support that act or institution. It doesn't occur to Hayes that Republicans (and a majority of voters) might agree that single mothers do real work at home but still be unwilling to support these mothers perpetually on welfare.ReplyDelete
Sadly, the view that the government must give benefits to everything they think is good seems to be entrenched in Washington. Far to many things get some sort of federal goodie, just because Congress approves of them.
E.g., a friend got a special tax break for her luxury car, because that car has a elatively efficient engine. Multiply this sort of special favor by a zillion, and one will understand how we arrived at such a jumble of incomprehensible and expensive laws and regulation.
IMHO it would be wonderful if the government could start over and do those things it's required to do or needs to do, and do those things honestsly and efficiently.
"E.g., a friend got a special tax break for her luxury car, because that car has a relatively efficient engine."Delete
I didn't know that republicans considered tax breaks to be special benefits. Someone alert noted welfare queens General Electric and Bill Gates.
Also, on a factual note - tax breaks for hybrids ended in 2010. Unless your friend's "luxury car" is fully electric (and I'm not aware of any luxury car that is) then your anecdote is several years out of date (or false).
When performed by married women in their own homes, domestic labor is work—difficult, sacred, noble work. Ann says Mitt called it more important work than his own, which does make you wonder why he didn’t stay home with the boys himself. When performed for pay, however, this supremely important, difficult job becomes low-wage labor that almost anyone can do—teenagers, elderly women, even despised illegal immigrants. But here’s the real magic: when performed by low-income single mothers in their own homes, those same exact tasks—changing diapers, going to the playground and the store, making dinner, washing the dishes, giving a bath—are not only not work; they are idleness itself.ReplyDelete
From the previous link ... meant to post sigh.
And that whole paragraph was supposed to be in quotation marks. Ms. Pollitt wrote it, not me. Double sigh.Delete
Time for bed, my brain's creaky!
The trouble with Ms. Pollitt's analysis is that she tacitly assumes that idleness is the same for everyone. She ignores individual need and individual responsibility. Perhaps she views welfare as an entitlement, rather than a gift.Delete
In the view of many Americans, someone on welfare is essentially a beggar. We donate to needy beggars, because we're a generous people. However, we want the beggar to do what s/he can to take care of him/herself.
I believe this is the distinction that Bob alluded to -- a distinction that most voters understand.
It's also sad that welfare reform as Clinton signed it is always lumped together as Bush re-aligned it.ReplyDelete
The compassionate conservative chimp turned the model on its ear, but Clinton-hating "liberals" will trash Clinton for Bush's meanness.
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