On Apr 15, 2013, at 11:31 AM, Romeo Danais <email@example.com> wrote:Who is the dependent?Here is a short lesson in irony:The Food Stamp Program (aka SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), administered by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps over to 47 million people this year.Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of Interior, asks us "Please do not feed the animals."Their stated reason for the policy is "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."This ends today's lesson in irony.
This lead to an exchange by a number of representatives about the intent of the email and the meaning of irony.
Representative Burtis retorts:
From: Burtis, Betsy
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:09 AM
To: Ulery, Jordan
Cc: Burtis, Elizabeth; Danais, Romeo; ~All Representatives
Subject: Re: a short lesson in ironyI think the irony is actually that 1) you think we have missed the intended irony and that 2) the dripping sarcasm of the responses was somehow misconstrued as a failure to "get" the intended point.We see the point that was intended, we think it is wrong at its core and subsequently offensive and not ironic in the least. "This ends today's lesson in irony."
On 4/16/13 8:48 AM, Emerson-Brown, Rebecca wrote:
Let's just call it for what it is; Poor people (or gay or women or non-white) are less human in their eyes.
Much like the national GOP and their message, you can't rebrand your way out of hate. No matter how nicely you deliver the message, the content is still appalling.
Rep. Rebecca Emerson-Brown
N. H. House of Representatives
And that led to this unique outpouring:
Rep. Steven Smith
Twas a poor lesson in irony since the stated "example" is actually not ironic at all.
I typically don't get involved in these emails and instead spend hours deleting these SPAM emails while searching for valuable communication from our constituents but I found this email particularly offensive.
This "lesson" seems to be more of a comparison (a metaphor to be exact since there is no use of the words "like" or "as"). Sadly, it compares humans on welfare to wild animals.
Irony will be when this email trail, which was intended to get a laugh out of fellow republicans at the expense of those fallen on hard times, makes its way to local newspapers and media outlets and helps increase our democratic majority in 2014...that is truly an example of irony.
Jeremy S. Dobson
NH State Representative
Hillsborough District 43
Manchester Wards 4, 5, 6, 7
Now there's a man who understands irony.
The bottom line is that this is a mean-spirited meme that's been circulated around by conservatives for the last year. In a criticism of the new budget, Rep. Neal Kurk was eager to point to the fact that some 40,000 NH residents are out of work. The number of underemployed residents would make that figure explode. I'm genuinely curious - how is it that conservatives can express concern for the unemployed on one day, and be blaming them for it the next?
Applying for food stamps is not fun. There are many, many hoops to jump through. At best it's unpleasant. At worst it's demeaning. One in four children in Coos County benefits from the food stamp program. Is Rep. Danais calling these children of our state animals? Is he calling their parents animals? The unemployment rate in Coos is the highest in the state - and the odds of selling your house to move away are slim to none. Are people supposed to just quietly starve to death, to please people like Rep. Danais, Rep. Ulery, and Rep. Smith?
The lack of humanity on display here is depressing.
The real irony is that the minority party has worked damned hard to ensure that NH's economy will continue to struggle. We invest almost nothing in education and infrastructure, thereby guaranteeing that more and more NH residents will fall into poverty. When it comes to letting their children starve, they're unlikely to go quietly.
These representatives are the perpetuators of a system they claim to despise. And they're as bereft of real solutions as they are bereft of humanity and decency.