Paul Ryan, Asshole of the Day for March 6, 2014
If you’ve been paying attention to politics at all over the past few years, you’ve no doubt noticed the GOP sliding into an abyss of abject stupidity and stunning, breathtaking insensitivity. And just when you think they’ve tapped those wells dry, they find a way (fracking, probably) to squeeze just a little more out of them.
For example, behold onetime GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan, who just today told the assembled crowd of mouth-breathers at CPAC that if only poor kids’ parents loved them more, they wouldn’t need free lunch programs to feed them.
He made this point while telling a story that was supposed to give us all the sads: a “young boy from a very poor family” who got government-funded free lunches at school but was totally bummed out about it.
“He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown paper bag, just like the other kids,” Ryan said, adding, “He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”
You know what, Paul Ryan? I’ve been that kid. And on behalf of all those kids, fuck you.
I was raised in Southern California by a single mother, who had me young and struggled to support us. When I was about 5, a teacher friend of hers told her I was extraordinarily bright and stressed the importance of getting me in the right schools to nurture that.
The closest and best public school district was, naturally, in a wealthy area. But my mom somehow found an apartment she could afford there, and the next thing I knew, she’d packed me, our cat and what few belongings we had into her beat-up VW Bug and off we went.
My mom’s friend was right – the school was phenomenal. I still remember those teachers. They were warm and encouraging and supportive, and never made me feel like the underprivileged kid.
And yes, I got government-sponsored breakfasts and lunches. But contrary to Paul Ryan’s story, it was not a reenactment of a Dickens novel. No dirt-smudged faces. No gruel. No moonfaced moppets begging for more.
Look, I knew my circumstances were different than the other kids somehow, but no one shamed me. And no one shamed my mother, who worked her ass off so her kid could go to the best school possible. (You want love, Paul? Put THAT in a brown paper bag, you smug, condescending douchebag.)
Fast forward a few years and I went on to become the first woman in my family to graduate from college. These days, I make a nice living and pay back into the same government system that helped me get where I am now. And I’m happy to do it.
Because somewhere there’s a little girl whose single mom is doing the best she can – and I’ll be damned if I’m going to make it any harder for them than it has to be. But Paul Ryan wants to make it harder, and that’s why he is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Paul Ryan's second time being named Asshole of the Day. His previous win was for insisting on concessions in order to vote to pay for the budget that he himself negotiated and took credit for.
Full story: Raw Story
UPDATE: Turns out the anecdote about the little boy wasn’t about a kid getting a government subsidized lunch!
Shauna Wright (@goldengateblond) spends her days writing and editing things for cash and prizes, and you can find her dishing celebrity snark on the regular at Blabberazzi.com.
This man is an idiotic asshole in every way. I was an underprivileged American kid too, raised by a single father who supported a family of 5 on two jobs and still qualified for both food stamps and the free lunch program for me. And that program was a blessing. Every day I got a hot meal that I otherwise likely would have had to do without at the worst of that time, and it did not make me feel like an outsider because dozens of other students also went through the lunch line each day. Some were paying full price, some were on half-price and some were free, but nobody cared which was which. We just wanted to get to whatever table our friends were at and have our lunch and go play before the bell rang. There were no sad looks at the bagged lunches. In fact, when I took my lunch to school, I typically envied those who didn’t get a squashed PBJ every single day of the week, which I got because the jumbo containers of peanut butter and jelly lasted the longest and were on the approved list of food-stamp products. Paul Ryan can just shut the hell up because he clearly never experienced the situation he’s bleating about.
Even if that little boy does want a brown bagged lunch instead and even if he has somehow conflated the idea that getting one means you’re loved - because kids do think things like that because they aren’t old enough to understand how finances work, especially if those things are promoted by the cultural environment they’re immersed in - I am sure as hell he’d rather have that third meal a day than nothing which is the only actual option available if his free lunches go away. He’s not getting a brown bagged lunch because if his parents could afford it he would already have it. Encouraging the idea that only a homemade lunch means he’s properly loved is just going to make children whose parents can’t afford it feel even worse.
I’m not gonna tell you how to do your job, but I’m gonna ask you not to do it at 7:30 in the morning with a jackhammer under my window.
- When comments are better than the article, Atlantic edition (“The Cheapest Generation: Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy”)
I will wonder on my deathbed where I passed the reasonable threshold of hours looking for the perfect reminders app.
Did you hear the bad dog joke? It was pawful.
All day, every day.
Super cool, better on a mobile device, as there’s a mode where it can follow your accelerometer and gyroscope.
Just wanted everyone to know, but feel free to put a few cameras on me if you like.
maybe i’m a goddamn bleeding heart hippie liberal but i’m totally down with paying an extra .50 cents for a thing of fries if the person who makes me those fries doesn’t have to work 3 jobs just to survive.
most studies show that prices would only have to go up by 1 to 3 cents in order to raise employee wages significantly
or, you know, the ceo’s could take pay cuts but that would be so hard for the poor multimillionaires