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Let them not eat

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There's a twist on Queen Marie Antoinette for you. Her Majesty was once told that her people had no bread--this was shortly before the French Revolution commenced its bloody course--and she replied that they ought to eat cake, then. She made this answer in her pampered ignorance of how the poor of Paris (and France generally) actually lived in abject poverty. In fact, she meant no harm. But it cost her life when those remarks were repeated to those who were enraged by the apparent disregard that was (erroneously, I believe) attributed to her. I don't dispute that she probably said it; I just think that she didn't mean that the people of France ought to starve.

Today we have a Republican Party that will stand idly by while their elected officials dismiss the American poor by saying just that: let them starve. This is a terrible and reprehensible misconstruction of one of the letters of St. Paul (and Jesus never said such a thing, by the way).

The party that crashed the American economy says that if you aren't working you shouldn't be eating. Perhaps that might make some sort of fragile sense, but let's see what they are really saying: if you aren't working, then your spouse and children should not be eating. Really?!

The party that has refused to pass a bill to create jobs says that if you aren't working, you shouldn't eat. Now, when jobs have six applicants for every opening, if you can't find work you ought to starve in the streets.

Is this the Republican Party that you voted for in 2012?

This kind of talk is not just heartless; hey, the Teabaggers have been brewing and spewing hate ever since Sarah Palin made her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. It isn't her fault that she referred to then-candidate Barack Obama as "Sambo" in private; nobody, including her mother and father, ever told her to respect black people or other minorities. And apparently she didn't pick up on it when she was out in the world, going to college and whatever.

Or then again, maybe she did. Liberal commentators go on and on with statistics on the effects of cuts to food stamps and unemployment insurance, as though the Right Wing didn't have economists and statisticians. But that is not true. I would like to see Chris Matthews and the other oblivious talking heads in the liberal media say, just once, that the political right knows exactly what they are doing. It isn't about poor Americans. It is about money.

If you haven't noticed, the budget agreement that the House of Representatives just approved raises no revenue. None. Yet it closes no tax loopholes. None.

Okay, so where is the money coming from to provide for the mandatory spending and the easing off of the Sequester? Well, they are cutting "entitlement" programs like food and unemployment assistance. In other words, they keep right on giving money away to corporations and you pay for it by going without food.

On top of that some idiot on the right says in front of a camera that if you don't work you shouldn't eat--like Americans have suddenly become so lazy that they can't go look for it. Obviously he has never seen Craigslist; you can job-hunt in your pajamas, as the saying goes...if you have electricity.

This kind of talk is roughly equivalent to throwing a Molotov cocktail into a food riot. The first thing the Republicans have to do is muzzle stupid representatives and senators who don't know when to shut up; the second thing they have to do is get a handle on what is going on in America's streets--and what will happen late in December when people don't have money for food in large numbers. Millions of Americans will be caught between Republican incompetence and racism, and the stark reality of hunger, winter and the streets.

Enjoy your Christmas. This may be the last Christmas that we see in our lifetimes with America in the condition that we expect and recognize. I would like to say "Happy New Year" as well, but I am not that optimistic. Remember the Occupy people on the streets of New York? Now picture them with rocks and bottles.

Those who claim to own and operate American Christianity are about to send millions of Americans--millions of them children--into starvation and homelessness. The fallout of this is going to be horrendous and it is just about to happen. Get out of the way if you can.

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