QOTD: The Very Serious Paul Ryan
Just when he was becoming a Village darling again he lets his little white slip show:
“[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told [Bill]Bennett. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
Hmmm. What's he really saying there? Let's have our old pal Lee Atwater explain it:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can't say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Conservatives are all about tradition. It was good of him to reveal the real agenda of his "poverty report" though. Not that it wasn't evident already.
“When you question this war on poverty, you get all the criticisms from adherents to the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change. We got to have the courage to face that down, just as we did in the welfare reform of the late 1990s and if we succeeded we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work.”
Don't tell anybody, but there were a whole lot of Democrats who pushed welfare reform. The political calculation was that it would take the issue off the table for good. How'd that work out?