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Saboteurs Among Us

9:40 AM, Jul 12, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The day's trending theme (that would be a "meme" for those not in the know) seems to be that Republicans have become a tribe of nihilists who aim not to improve efficiency in government and make it better but to pour sand in its crankcase and jam its gears. Their goal, in short, is sabotage.  There is even a Twitter hashtag, #SabotageGoverning, where one can go to follow all the latest information and analysis regarding this diabolical effort.  To include, no doubt, inside stuff on how some deep cover Republican, sleeper operative in the Treasury (call him "Alger") awoke and singlehandedly killed the employer mandate feature of Obamacare.

The New York Times has bought in to the "Republicans as Saboteurs" line with all its usual grim earnestness. To wit, an editorial that includes this paragraph:

 ... on Thursday, the House passed a farm bill that stripped out the food stamp program breaking a pact that for decades has protected the nutrition needs of low-income Americans. It was the first time since 1973 that food stamps haven’t been part of a farm bill, and it reflected the contempt of the far right for anyone desperate enough to rely on the government for help to buy groceries.        

This, when all people of good will understand that the farm program has long been a wise and prudent exercise of government.  Who could possibly object to agricultural subsidies for such sons of the soil as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi?  Only saboteurs.  Or, as the Times puts it:

... Republicans, in their blind fury to harm the least fortunate

Which, no doubt, amounts to the same thing.

As for the food stamps.  Well more people receive them, these days, than have full-time jobs.  The food programs cost over $100 billion but, of course, only a fiscal barbarian, riding in from the steppes to sack and burn Washington, could possibly believe that there is no waste, fraud, or abuse in the program.

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