Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Triumphant Return of Young Bucks and Welfare Queens

It has been more than 35 years since Lee Atwater laid out exactly how and why his Republican Party was building a string of dog-whistle factories that would enable them to wear their racism out in public and drive Southern bigots into the arms of the Party of Lincoln without the High Hats and Snooty Liberal Brahmans getting wise.

In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
And as proof, anyone who bothers to take a look can plainly see the GOP running this same play out of this same racist playbook over and over again, decade after decade (from The Atlantic) --
The ‘Welfare Queen’ Is a Lie

At a campaign rally in 1976, Ronald Reagan introduced the welfare queen into the public conversation about poverty: “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”

The perception of who benefits from a policy is of material consequence to how it is designed. For the past 40 years, U.S. welfare policy has been designed around Reagan’s mythical welfare queen—with very real consequences for actual families in need of support.

Though it was Reagan who gave her the most salient identity, the welfare queen emerged from a long and deeply racialized history of suspicion of and resentment toward families receiving welfare in the United States...
 -- getting, meaner and blunter and more smirkingly obvious with each iteration (from an entirely different article in the New York Times) --
When, in 1976, [Reagan] talked about working people angry about the “strapping young buck” using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks at the grocery store, he didn’t mean to play into racial hostility. True, as The New York Times reported,
The ex-Governor has used the grocery-line illustration before, but in states like New Hampshire where there is scant black population, he has never used the expression “young buck,” which, to whites in the South, generally denotes a large black man.
But the appearance that Reagan was playing to Southern prejudice was just an innocent mistake.

Similarly, when Reagan declared in 1980 that the Voting Rights Act had been “humiliating to the South,” he didn’t mean to signal sympathy with segregationists. It was all an innocent mistake...
And then the first Black President was elected and all of that barely concealed racist bile -- the true mother's milk of Republican politics -- came spilling right out into the open in a tidal wave of slander like this --

-- which PolitiFact rated as a pants-on-fire lie back when pants-on-fire lies from Republicans were notable enough that you didn't need both hands and both feet to keep count of the just the new ones that were hatching out of the GOP midden pile every single day:
Our ruling

Santorum said that Obama "showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare."

The claim is a drastic distortion of what the Obama administration said it intends to do. By granting waivers to states, HHS is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them. The waivers would apply to individually evaluated pilot programs -- HHS is not proposing a blanket, national change to welfare law. And there have been no comments by the Obama administration indicating such a dramatic shift in policy.

Santorum falsely claims that Obama has waived welfare’s work requirement entirely. The remark is inaccurate and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!
And now that the GOP has gotten tired of pretending it isn't a racist shitpile. burned down the dog-whistle factories and elected the Stormfront Comment Section That Walks Like a Man, guess what's baaaack baby!

From Real Clear Politics (emphasis added):
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And by the way, what happened, what happened, is Obama took a long time, years to get Obamacare, right? Again, 10 months. We've had two runs at it. We're coming closer, closer. I think now we have a plan that's going to be great. But we're not talking about it until after taxes, and then we'll take care of health care.

Then we will have done tax cuts, the biggest in history, health care, phenomenal health care. I know you don't want this -- welfare reform. Does anyone want welfare reform?

And infrastructure. But welfare reform, I see it, and I've talked to people. I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn't work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better than the person that's working his and her ass off. And it's not going to happen. Not going to happen.
President Stupid doesn't know anyone who works three jobs.

President Stupid doesn't know anyone who works their asses off doing anything other than looting the government and lying about it.

President Stupid doesn't know anyone on public assistance.

President Stupid doesn't know anyone who lives within a billion miles of social distance of anyone on public assistance.

President Stupid is a bitter, half-mad, pig-ignorant old bigot who keeps company with other bitter old bigots.  He gets his "news" straight from the from Fox and Friends Soft Serve Dung Machine, and sits on his golden shitter retweeting white supremacist filth and nutso conspiracies, picking fights with celebrities, calling for reporters and his political opponents to be locked up, yelling at uppity black people and trying to start World War Three.

When he gets bored with that, he hits the links for the umpteenth time.  Because he is a very, very lazy bitter old bigot. 

When he gets bored with that, he wanders around, grabbing random microphones and taking credit for anything that pops into his head.

He is a sick joke.

And the party that nominated him and the reprogrammable meatbags who elected people who elected him are in on that joke and think it is fucking hilarious.  

And together they are going to hurt an awful lot of people very badly before this nightmare comes to an end.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


dinthebeast said...

So now the damn fool is distributing Al-Qaeda propaganda videos via his twitter account.
Aren't we still at war with Al-Qaeda?
Yes, as a matter of fact we are, under the authority of the goddamn 2001 AUMF that my congresswoman voted against and has been trying to repeal ever since.
Don't we have a word for government officials who give aid and comfort to our enemies?

-Doug in Oakland

Qahir Makhani said...


You're at war with the GOP. This is why Obama needs to be held accountable for allowing this peaceful transition. He said in his own words that it needed to take place to "show the world how strong American democracy is." That appears to be the principled thing to do but in reality was the mother of all cop-outs.
People protest at the GOP obstructing him by refusing to agree to their own bills and using his willingness to completely cave as a sign of principle. The GOP sent a message to him and he didn't get it- they hated him and he should have reacted in kind. He didn't do anything without a republican approving his actions. People talk of Bill Clinton and his triangulation when many forget that Obama had the Senate for 6 years and the house for 2, whereas Clinton had just the Presidency after 2 years.

Robt said...

I witnessed many a wall Street Bank CEO welfare queens between 2007 and 2008. And many a corporation got to go thru the back door drive through private welfare service giveaway at the Fed at the same time.

You see, now that corporations are people. They get welfare.

And because corporations are people, that makes the more important people than real people.