The decision of Republicans in the House to pass a Farm Bill that does not include food assistance for the most vulnerable Americans should not have surprised me. The GOP caucus has for quite a while been in the thrall of Ayn Rand's radical ideology. The rich are virtuous and should be rewarded and the poor are lazy and should never be helped in any way. The GOP justifies its ideology by constructing a straw man Democrat who thinks "rich people are evil," "people of faith are ignorant and uneducated," and "the earth is flat." (The quotes are from a June 18 Politico piece by Gov. Jindal.) These are same people who claimed that the Affordable Care Act, which had its origins in a conservative think, is socialized medicine and includes death panels. These are the same people who tried to make us believe that the IRS was targeting only conservative groups that were applying for 501(c)4 status. These are the same people who complain about the President's decision to postpone enforcement of a provision of the Affordable Care Act that they voted against. These are same people who.... No, the list is too long and it makes my head hurt to think about it.
In the midst of a televised hearing in 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy accused attorney Joseph Welch, who was representing the Army, of having an associate with ties to a Communist organization. Welch responded, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness." When McCarthy continued his attack, Welch said, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"
Some in the GOP have decided that demonizing the poor, in the much the same way that McCarthy demonized liberals, makes good political sense. To them I echo Welch's words. "Have not these Americans suffered emough? Have you no sense of decency?"