Saturday, December 3, 2011

Poot's Good Old Days

Self-proclaimed Rethuglican "idea man," historian/lobbyist and current Rethuglican flavor of the month Newt "Poot" Gingrich must have been reading some 19th century literature lately. How else could you explain his proposal -- right out of a Charles Dickens novel -- to use poor children as school "janitors" because Poot feels they're not taught good work ethics at home? (It's no coincidence that Poot chose janitorial work as his example, which is the right wing's stereotype of the work for which poor people of color are best suited).

Leaving aside the gratuitous racism in Poot's example, there have been child labor laws in this country for nearly 100 years for good reasons. It's one thing for a college student to work as a means of getting through college, but it's another to expect poor children of color to stay in school and study when they're working afternoons and evenings trying to supplement their family's income. Of course, that's the point. Poot and the Rethugs are fine with creating a permanent underclass that can't climb into the middle class through education, because they've been too busy pushing a mop.

(hat tip to AZ Gail)

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