21 September 2011

Scrooge and Modern Day Republicans: a close analogy

Here's from A Christmas Carol:

``At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,'' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, ``it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.''
``Are there no prisons?'' asked Scrooge.
``Plenty of prisons,'' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
``And the Union workhouses?'' demanded Scrooge. ``Are they still in operation?''
``They are. Still,'' returned the gentleman, `` I wish I could say they were not.''
``The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?'' said Scrooge.
``Both very busy, sir.''
``Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,'' said Scrooge. ``I'm very glad to hear it.''
``Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,'' returned the gentleman, ``a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?''
``Nothing!'' Scrooge replied.
``You wish to be anonymous?''
``I wish to be left alone,'' said Scrooge. ``Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.''
``Many can't go there; and many would rather die.''
``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

This reminds me of former Congressman Grayson's show n' tell in Congress back in '09, when he held up cards explaining the Republicans' Health Care Plan:

"1. Don't Get Sick
2. And if you do get sick....
3. Die quickly."

Grayson got a lot of criticism for this, but he would not back down, for the simple reason that what he was saying was the plain truth of the matter. And I don't see where anything has changed one bit since then, or all that much since Dickens's time, for that matter, when it comes to the mean spirit of the Right Wing. 

I cite the absurdity of Ron Paul's idiotic response to the question in a recent debate about uninsured Americans, and the recent even more preposterous and mean spirited claim of his that his own staffer who died with $400,000 in outstanding medical bills "didn't need government support."

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