"I'm anti-spending and anti-government," crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. "The welfare state is out of control."
"OK," I say. "And what do you do for a living?"
"Me?" he says proudly. "Oh, I'm a property appraiser. Have been my whole life."
I frown. "Are either of you on Medicare?"
Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!
"Let me get this straight," I say to David. "You've been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?"
"Well," he says, "there's a lot of people on welfare who don't deserve it. Too many people are living off the government."
"But," I protest, "you live off the government. And have been your whole life!""Yeah," he says, "but I don't make very much."
— From Tea & Crackers: How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster by Matt Taibbi.
This Rolling Stone article -- I wish I could quote the entire thing -- is a must read. It's not only a lengthy study of the narcissism and delusional thinking of the teabaggers, but also an illumination of the Rand Paul phase of this whole tea party aka GOP thing.
Rand Paul is, of course, the political neophyte son of Republican Congressman Ron Paul. Last May, Rand won the Republican Senatorial primary race in Kentucky. One thing I cannot ignore about this man is his position on the 20-year-old American's with Disabilities Act. He wants to gut it, and as I stated four months ago, "I feel threatened every time some politician feels more empathetic toward the 'free speech' of a business owner versus the basic rights of the disabled. I know it's hard for libertarians to understand, but in 1990, a federal law increased my rights."
And yet at a recent Sarah Palin rally, Matt Taibbi observed, "every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters."
Do these elderly white people never think about consequences? Not only are they fighting to get functional government programs cut, but they're supporting the people who will take away their basic rights. So even if Janice gets a free scooter from the government, she won't be able to take it anywhere! No ADA means no curb cuts, no ramps, and any theater, restaurant or business can slam the door in her face.
On the other hand, at least they'll find out what it really means to be an oppressed minority.