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War on the poor

July 1, 2013 - Harry Eagar
It cannot be a coincidence that everywhere you turn, some hardworking Murrican is bitching about the slacker Murrican he saw buying crab legs with his food stamp card.

It even turned up (with lobster playing the role of King Crab) in a letter to the editor of The Maui News.

When that happens, you can bet that something is instigating it. America's most delusional congressman, Louie Gohmert, for one.

There has rightly been pushback from the reality-based community. One commenter (whose location I cannot recall) pointed out the obvious, that with a typical monthly draw of $130 and legs at $20/pound, nobody is buying a lot of crab legs with gummint handouts.

Remarkably, Arthur Delaney at Huffpost found someone who had bought crab legs with food stamps. He was not a slacker Murrican, though, but a worker, just one of millions being paid peanuts. Apparently, if you are paid peanuts, that's all you are allowed to eat, too.

Some of the complainers are mathematically challenged. Delaney found this:

"The crab complaint has recurred more than a dozen times in newspapers around the country, including this 2007 missive from a reader in the Myrtle Beach Sun-News: 'After working a typical 12-hour shift, I had to stop by the local grocery store. Standing in line behind an oversized woman with three kids, I noticed the items going through the checkout. She had two 10-pound packs of frozen crab legs and two large packs of rib-eye steaks among a couple of vegetable items totaling up to an excess of $60.' "

Quite a bit in excess of $60, I imagine. 20 pounds of crab would have run into the hundreds.

We are, of course, not merely in the realm of urban legend but of Ronald Reagan lying. As Doktor Zoom lectured Gohmert:

"Congratulations, Rep. Gohmert! You have resurrected Ronald Reagan’s 'strapping young buck' buying T-bone steaks with food stamps! Some lines never get old, do they?"

No, they don't. The rightwingers have learned not to insert race words into their texts (well, some of them have), but we get it.

 
 

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