Tonawanda News

Opinion

March 15, 2014

DUVALL: GOP school lunch criticism is pure snobbery

Tonawanda News — People like to call any political issue a "war on (something)." I'm generally skeptical of that language. It exaggerates and needlessly intensifies legitimate disagreements over public policy.

Democrats are guilty of this just as much as Republicans. The GOP, Democrats declare, is waging a war on women.

It's an overstatement. But there's much truth to the idea Republican policies — and even more, how they describe them — are hostile to the interests of most working- and middle-class women, mothers in particular.

Take the rather benign issue of food — which is only benign if you have enough of it.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has led the charge against making sure poor people have enough to eat. Particularly children of poor parents.

In a speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Ryan assailed government free and reduced-price lunch programs. “What the left is offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul.” 

Is Paul Ryan a drama queen or what?

He went on to tell the crowd of randy wingnuts most of whom were actually white dudes named Randy an anecdote about a Wisconsin child (who turned out not to actually exist). Spinning quite the heart-wrenching yarn, Ryan said the boy told a state education official visiting his school he didn't want to get a free lunch. He wanted a lunch in a brown paper bag like the rest of the kids because that meant they had mothers who loved them.

I can't think of a meaner thing to say to a mother than "your child feels unloved because you're lazy."

First, the comment is purely absurd.

My mother used to make lunch for me when I was young — that is until I intimated I was jealous of the kids who got to eat tacos and tater tots while I was stuck with a bologna sandwich and a banana. From that day forward she left $1.35 on the table every morning and was free of one more thing to do before she could go to bed. 

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