Scapegoating: More grassroots change from the politics of resentment

Posted in Extremism, Permanent Fail at 7:55 am by George Smith

No surprise, anymore, the GOP is just about kicking down the disadvantaged, in their eyes, defending the wealthy from parasites –everyone else.

Nothing from the bunch startles. You expect regular bursts of crazy angry cruelty from the politicians swept into power as a consequence of despondence and Obama’s do-nothing political malfeasance in 2010.

However, it’s still worth reprinting as an example of spite as political action:

Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.

Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.

His explanation?

“I never had anything new,??? Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.???

Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.

The plan was knocked by the Michigan League for Human Services. Gilda Jacobs, executive director of the group, had this to say:

“Honestly, I was flabbergasted,??? Jacobs says. “I really couldn’t believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we’ve gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.???

Casswell says the plan will save the state money, though it isn’t clear how much the state spends on clothing for foster children or how much could be saved this way.

It would be dishonest not to mention that America has always been full of people like this. In the Seventies, they were plentiful where I grew up. This country has always provided a special fertilizer in the heartland for them — a mix of toxic Calvinism, twisted views of religion in which faith is recast as a set of rules and fables for the damnation of others, and civilization only a few hundred meters removed from Deliverance.

And so the pinched cruelty was a common thread over tense holiday meals in the Smith household, used for browbeating reflection on how the elders never had anything when they were kids and so etc…

The difference between then and now: The lunatics whose distinguishing features were stupidity, lack of perspective, dishonesty and a complete absence of charity weren’t massed and in power. They were just more assholes you knew sitting around a table and taking it out on family members and neighbors.

Like Wisconsin and a large number of other states, Michigan now has a good case of buyer’s remorse, one it can do little about. I don’t care to bet on the odds that 2012 will fix it.

Again, via Pine View Farm.

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