Thursday, August 25, 2011

They've Got Theirs

Once again, Crow Dickinson has put Conway on the map. The first time he accomplished this by trying to carry a loaded gun in his luggage, shortly after 9/11. Luckily for Crow, he was a state representative at the time so he wasn’t arrested and jailed the way most people would have been. People in other parts of the country are still snickering over that bit of idiocy. Crow’s next foray into stardom came in 2009 when his comments about domestic violence propelled him into the global spotlight once again. Dickinson’s witless remarks about how women fake complaints of abuse in divorce cases to get more money out of their spouses was carried in newspapers all over the country. His commentary endeared him to abusers and men’s rights groups, but the more civilized humans found his remarks abhorrent, and wondered why it is that NH seems to spawn so many ideologues and reactionaries.

They’re still wondering. Crow’s latest bid for stardom came last week, in the Sun’s story about the town of Conway’s welfare budget. NH law (RSA 165) requires each city or town to have a local welfare program to assist those who are in need. Conway’s welfare officer, BJ Parker described those folks she’s seeing who are in need, “It used to be “young, inexperienced households,” she said, but now “I see middle class people who are really struggling.” They aren’t familiar with the welfare system, and their pride often makes them wait until all their resources are maxed out before they come in.” Later in the article, the Sun quoted Conway Selectman Crow Dickinson, “There used to be a great shame in being on the public dole,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting, “and there isn’t anymore.”

Let’s be clear. The people in need are described as middle-class folks who wait to come in until they’ve run out of choices. Elected town official Crow Dickinson is saying they should be ashamed for “being on the public dole.” This is coming from a man who has been masquerading as a good old boy hick all of his life, in an effort to conceal his Harvard education and inherited wealth. It’s easy for those who have never had to work a day in their lives to sneer at the misfortunes of others.

In the August 24, 2011 edition of the Sun, Ray Shakir expressed his great admiration for Dickinson’s “coconuts,” and went on to describe his disdain for those able bodied individuals who should never receive public assistance before blowing the GOP dog whistle. “You’re now considered a fool for working hard, being self-sufficient, responsible, and honest,” wrote Shakir. I can’t think of any place in NH where this is so. I have never heard anyone outside of the Fox Propaganda Network say anything of the sort.

This line of “thought” exists only in fevered Teabaglican brains. These are the same great brains that put in place the policies that caused the collapse of our economy. There are still over 25 million people out of work in this country – a direct result of failed GOP policies. Rather than take any responsibility for the disaster they helped create, they blame the jobless for being jobless. Stuck with a house that’s worth less than your mortgage, and out of work too? Ray Shakir and Crow Dickinson don’t care. They’ve got theirs. And this, dear readers, is the way of the conservative elites. They’ve got theirs. If you were stupid enough not to pick wealthy parents in utero, or to lose your job and the value of your house, well, tough coconuts for you. Remember George Bush’s claims to “compassionate conservativeism?” Neither do these guys. You could wring all of the compassion out of the pair of them and still not be able to fill a thimble.

The people being demonized here are middle class folks. That means that they are people who have worked hard their whole lives and now find themselves caught up in the Great Recession. These are people who may well identify as Republicans – and are now being demonized as Reaganesque welfare queens.

Meanwhile, these same great minds have ensured the loss of well over a thousand jobs in our state, and given that they have another year and a half in the legislature, they’ll have the opportunity to kill plenty more. Nationally, the job creation isn’t going any better. Bold action is needed, but Obama was not endowed with either boldness or leadership capability. And even if he were, our elected officials have chosen to put ideology over country. Science is bad. Taxing the corporations and the wealthy is bad. Making poor people pay is good and responsible. Cutting the safety net is necessary. While they bellow at one another and put on a show to delight the complicit, corporate media, the empire is slowly circling the drain.

They’ve got theirs, you see. They’ve got pensions and medical care for life. If you don’t, well, that’s your tough luck. It’s also your fault.

“The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.” George Bernard Shaw

© 2011 sbruce

Published as an op-ed in the August 26, 2011 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.


DissedBelief said...

So glad you once again addressed a current and disgraceful subject, that being this appalling state of "mind"lessness supplied by the right. I'd like to request that any and all Republicands and
T-Apartiters absoloutely do NOT celebrate and take off Labor Day Weekend. Since they don't believe in the social(ist) aspect of labor, labor unions and the rights of workers, I suggest they eat their own idealogies and work through this entire time frame. Another way they could easily help out (a whole new concept for the entitled right I know), would be to give vast amounts of their own monies away to any of "their" good Republican neighbors (we all know they wouldn't pick up a lefty from the gutter) and community members who are suffering through hard times. This would eliminate completely any need for social help via our tax dollars. It was the right who stupidly supplied the illogical and ludicrous scheme of helping out ailing members of the community via fundraisers. Since certain selectman and political representatives are so wealthy such as Dickinson, Guinta, Ayotte, Chandler, I suggest they start to eat their words by digging into their deep pockets and putting their greenbacks where their mouths foul are.

Dave in Glen said...

Thank you for bringing a breath of fresh (honest and truthful) air to this valley! You tell it like it is in a way that some of us really appreciate, but do not have the ability (or time) to articulate in such a marvelous (and informed) way!