Here we go again. A Minnesota state representative, discussing the expansion of people using food stamps, tries to illustrate her point that the program creates dependency by quoting an “ironic” story a “friend” sent her.
As Bluestem Praire reports, Minnesota Republican Representative Mary Franson said, “Last week, we worked on some welfare reform bills. And here, it’s kind of ironic, I’ll read you this little funny clipped that we got from a friend. It says, ‘Isn’t it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.”
Franson has since apologized to “those offended at the video,” but it’s not as if she’s the first Republican to use this talking point. As Sally Jo Sorensen mentions, the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina compared those who accept help from the government to “stray animals” that will then “breed.” “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals…You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.” He later admitted maybe that “wasn’t the best metaphor.
And Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who is now running for Ben Nelson’s senate seat, compared those who accept welfare to “racoons,” stating, “The raccoons — they’re not stupid, they’re gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them. Just like welfare recipients all across America.”
As the 2012 election continues, are Republicans ever going to remember that people are not animals, and that they vote, too?
Watch the video clip of Franson below, with the “animals” quote at 1:50 (via Sally Jo Sorensen):
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