Friday, December 2, 2011

"The most offensive political speech I have ever heard spoken by an American politician"

A couple of weeks ago, Newt Gingrich talked about getting rid of child labor laws and putting children as young as 9 years old to work. Some people who commented on the idea didn't notice the context of his remarks. He'd just been asked to share his ideas about income inequality in America. He wasn't talking about putting ALL children to work - just the poor ones. So beyond being stupid policy, what he said was clearly classist with definite tones of racism.

Yesterday, Gingrich expounded and removed any doubts about that classism and racism.

Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of “I do this and you give me cash,” unless it’s illegal.

I've been so deeply angry since I read what he said that I've struggled with finding words to express it. My title here is a quote from an article by Rick Ungar that said if for me.

It's important to remember the facts.

...there are more than 10 million low-income (earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level) working families in this country - representing 45 million Americans, 22 million of which are children?

These are the very people who live in the poor neighborhoods that Gingrich is talking about -the communities where Newt seems to believe that people don’t understand working for a dollar unless it involves doing something illegal.

I'd just add that I'm sure there's plenty of continuity in the minds of both Gingrich and his audience about the race of those "really poor people who live in really poor neighborhoods" and don't know how to make money unless is means doing something illegal.

So let's just compare what it is a child learns from a single mother who works 2 jobs cleaning up other people's shit in order to put food on the table to what a child learns from their investment banker parent who sat at his/her computer all day setting up the shady deals that collapsed the entire global economy. Or the child of a disgraced politician who earns $60,000 for making a speech about poor children who don't know how to work.

I agree with Ungar...that is definitely the most offensive speech I've heard spoken by an American politician. And I'll shut up now before I say the other words that come to mind when talking about a sociopath like Newt Gingrich.


  1. Does Gingrich understand that these laws were enacted because little kids were working 12 hour shifts in factories? The thought of what Gingrich would do as president (especially with a GOP Congress) horrifies me. The thought of what we would have shown ourselves to be as a country if we elected him horrifies me.

  2. 'Afternoon, Ms. Pants

    And, the hell of it is, as you well know, Ms. Pants, is that you could diRECTly say those and any number of other words to Newt - to NO avail.

    (all sociopaths aren't homicidal - thank GOD. but, for those of you who aren't shrinks - and Ms. Pants is a recovering one and I'm still at it - watch, particularly, the first two seasons of Dexter and note how and why he has to IMITATE normal interpersonal interaction.listen to how he explains himself. then think Newt).

    But, the black guy - and woman - at 1600 Pennsylvania, he says, are the elitists.

  3. Never, ever, can we allow conservatives to determine the course of our country.

  4. I got just two words for Newt: public transportation. If he ever decided to lower himself enough to ride a bus or a subway, he would see what I see every day, every week on my way to work: security guards, nurses, store clerks, office assistants -- all of those people he says "have no habits of working" and "no habit of staying all day." Racist putz.

  5. How does this fatass get to be called a "thinker" by the stupid punditry? I guess if you are from a base as stupid as the GOP, someone who can form a sentence and wear bifocals qualifies.

  6. I'm very curious about the posts and comments from people who say things like "I'm so scared of what Newt and the GOP would do to this county" or similar sounding comments.

    My question is about that "scared" part. If you are scared that the next election would be terrible- then WHY have you given the government the power over you. Or to more clearly state it- WHY have you delegated your power to people who have the ability to hurt you? Years of electing pols who expand the reach and scope of nearly every governmental department has had the result of abdicating our rights to folks who clearly do not have our collective interests at heart. So if you don't like Newt (I don't) don't vote for him- but WHY vote for the party that is going to increase its power over you in the first place? Knowing that sooner or later the opposite party will come in and use that power that you gave away so glibly?

  7. Jim,

    I believe you skipped a question that should have come first it you truly want to understand. That is..."What are you scared of?"

    I'll use the context of what I wrote about in this post as an example. If Gingrich were to become president - would he actually get rid of child labor laws? It is actually the loss of government regulation that people fear. We don't want to go back to the time while children were used and abused for profit. We want the government involved saying that is not something we - as a country - will allow.

    For another example, many who comment here are people of color. Both they and their ancestors have fought long and hard to insist that the government allow them to participate and get rid of laws that discriminate against them. They fear that with the kind of classism and racism someone like Gingrich espouses - those government protections will be lost.

    This is the classic divide between how liberals and conservatives view the world. We are much more concerned about what we see as the ravages of greed, corporatism, racism and feel that the government is our collective voice saying "no" to those kinds of things. And so we see government as our power - not something we give away.

  8. And didn't Newt and teh Donald just introduce some "internship" program for children in poor neighborhoods.