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In the Norquistian world that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and the 21st Century Republican Party want to create, soup lines like the one where Big Bird stands in tonight's Night Owls banner would be the answer to the social needs of the jobless and the working poor not making enough money to put food on the table. That's not hyperbole. That is exactly where the Ryan tax-and-budget plan Orwellianly called the "Path to Prosperity" would ultimately lead.

Not immediately, of course. They're smarter than that. They know they can't dismantle the Great Society and New Deal programs all at once. Any more than they can get rid of all the financial or environmental or health and safety regulations all at once. Instead, they do their shredding piecemeal. But their ultimate goal is to get us back to where we were with income tax rates on the rich and social spending for the rest of us set at the level of 1925. The days before unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, cash and housing assistance for poor families, Headstart, Pell Grants and food stamps. Days when income and wealth inequality were peaking, union organizing was illegal and the vast majority of workers only dreamed of an eight-hour workday.

For the plutocrats, that was the good old days.

The Ryan plan, the Romney plan, the Republican plan would shred a broad range of programs, the goal being more shredding later. Food stamp funding would, for example, be chopped and capped and turned into a block grant to the states. Their plan wouldn't end the food stamp program—called SNAP in 26 states for the past four years—but would weaken it substantially. That's the case with other parts of the safety net, too. As Grover Norquist understands, bathtub drownings take time.

Now I have to be fair. Mitt Romney says he likes Big Bird. So, surely he doesn't want to actually see him in a soup line. He'd rather see him in a job. A private-sector job. What could a laid-off 43-year-old of dubious ethnicity with a single line on his résumé expect when his severance pay ran out? Maybe he could occasionally get one of those street-corner jobs waggling a sign directing people to a grand opening of condos or a Wal-Mart. Given its part-time, sporadic nature, it's not the kind of job that would make Big Bird eligible for unemployment insurance, but that's a good thing because we wouldn't want him to become government dependent.

Mitt Romney cuts in the dinner line at his own house and finishes eating before those last in the queue even get their food. You'll excuse me if I find the image of him sitting down with his kids or grandkids to watch "Sesame Street" just a tad hard to imagine. So, on second thought, his claim to actually like the yellow fellow is probably akin to his other campaign pronouncements, bogus.

What's not bogus is his desire as would-be president to gut government programs—big and small—while initiating yet another round of cutting taxes for corporations and the rich. Then, when the revenue that is supposed to flow from this effort doesn't appear, he (and his successors) can argue the need to cut even deeper into government spending (except the Pentagon) because we "can't afford it." Quite the scam. Sadly, there are some Democrats who buy it.

But not "Big Bird Democrats." That's the label Kossack Positronicus created Saturday night. Big Bird Democrats get it. We know what Romney, Ryan and the Republicans are up to. We know how screwed up it is when some Democrats choose to "compromise" with these guys.

That's how we all wind up in the soup line.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Whitman For Governor Rollout Woes Continue Unabated:

For a candidate whose first foray into elective politics was met with an enviable raft of prominent endorsers (Mitt Romney, former Governor Pete Wilson, and John McCain) and a ton of free media, the past two weeks have been absolutely brutal for California Republican Meg Whitman. The alleged frontrunner for the GOP nomination for Governor in the Golden State, her introduction to the political stage has been pure amateur hour.

It started with a Sacramento Bee investigative story, which outlined an almost comically sparse voting history for the first-time candidate. The same weekend as that revelation became known, Whitman was blasted in a straw poll at the state GOP convention by state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Then, last week, Whitman tried to explain her proclivity for electoral absenteeism, and dug herself in deeper, making the rather silly excuse that she was too busy raising a family to register to vote.

Tweet of the Day:

Obviously we'll have to cut off @FireMeElmo's unemployment insurance or else he'll never get a job & contribute to society.
@emptywheel via TweetDeck

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