CARLTON FLETCHER: Republicans use food stamps to scare their base

OPINION: Congress continues to fail those who put its members in office

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

There is a war between the rich and the poor.

Leonard Cohen

It would be funny, Congressional Republicans’ attempts to make their sheep-like base believe that food stamps are the evil that has put this country’s economy in a tailspin, were it not so sadly ludicrous.

Republican leaders such as the brazen hypocrite Mitch McConnell — who stopped serving the country six or so years ago when he proclaimed his No. 1 priority was making sure Barack Obama did not return to the White House, a mission that failed miserably but has not kept McConnell and others like him from neglecting their duty in an effort to protect the perceived turf of the country’s rich, old, white males — have rallied their blind followers by ignoring the country’s major issues for one sure to stir the passions of the frustrated middle class.

Harking back to the days of Ronald Reagan, who attacked the nation’s food stamp program with such thinly veiled racist images as the “welfare Cadillac” and “strapping, able-bodied young men eating steak and lobster at hard-working (and no doubt bologna-eating) taxpayers’ expense,” Republicans in Congress have tried to force cuts in the nation’s food stamp program by using it as a bargaining chip to hold up legislation planned to move the nation forward.

Let them eat cake, indeed.

This is the same group that wants to control women’s reproductive rights by proclaiming the sanctity of the human fetus and its capacity to exist, no matter the mitigating circumstances, but whose concern for that fetus evaporates once it’s delivered into a poor family that has neither the education nor the means to feed it.

These Republicans, who were supposedly elected to do what’s right for their country, have championed an agenda of miscommunication, of doing nothing and then distorting fact by utilizing hot-button buzz words sure to stir their base into dipping into its collective savings to support their self-serving agenda. They’re the ones who paint images of “shiftless porch-sitters,” waiting on the mailman to deliver their free handouts that, they proclaim, come out of the pockets of hard workers like you and them.

Never mind that blacks, who are the primary targets of their smear campaign, get, according to latest statistics available, only 22 percent of the food stamp funding that is doled out by the government.

Amazingly, the majority of these hard-working Congressional poster boys and girls of righteousness know little to nothing about having to struggle, about really working for a living. They came about their wealth — which in 21st-century America means power — the good, old-fashioned way: They inherited it.

Unfortunately for America, the “leadership” of this group that would take control of the country — another not-funny funny stir-the-masses sound bite of theirs: Obama is trying to usurp complete authority, a dictatorship, if you will, when that, truth be told, is at the heart of their agenda — started bragging after the 2012 election that they’d circumvented federal scrutiny by gerrymandering their way to continued power by redrawing state districts to assure control. “It’s easier than trying to change people’s hearts and minds,” they laughed.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the federal government has spent years scrutinizing every scrap of voter-related minutiae in the South based on its “racist past,” while states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan have been allowed to completely negate the power of their minority and strongly Democratic voting population by redrawing district lines to assure Republican control? And that’s in states that either voted overwhelmingly Democratic (Wisconsin and Michigan) or had an almost 50-50 split (Ohio) in the last national election.

As bad as these power-hungry Republicans are, though, they’re by no means any worse than the weasels in the Democratic party, who are so busy making sure they get their share of the PAC pie they’ve done precious little governing during their time in office.

To paraphrase an old friend: There’s only one way to change the status quo in Washington … throw all the bums out.