I thought we had reached a new milestone for hypocrisy and hubris when Republicans in Maine proposed that people who receive food stamps should not be allowed to purchase lunch meat or spaghetti sauce, but Republicans in Wisconsin have raised the bar (or lowered it, depending on your perspective).
Under a bill proposed by Wisconsin state Representative Robert Brooks (R), people who receive assistance would not be allowed to purchase any form of shellfish, which would presumably include cheap popcorn shrimp. But that's not at all. The bill would also ban damn near everything else.
The law would restrict access to a whole range of commonplace ingredients. Some of the things that would be harder to buy for poor families who cook include “herbs, spices, or seasonings,” all nuts, red and yellow potatoes, smoothies, spaghetti sauce, “soups, salsas, ketchup,” sauerkraut, pickles, dried beans sold in bulk, and white or albacore tuna. (Cans of “light tuna” are allowed under the rules.)
Potatoes? Beans? Are you kidding me?
When Republicans in Maine proposed that food stamp recipients should not be allowed to buy pickles, I quipped that you would have to purchase cucumbers, vinegar, and spices to make your own pickles unless those items have also been banned. And while I was kidding, Wisconsin Republicans are apparently very serious; they don't want to make your own pickles or almost anything else.
I distinctly remember a time when the likes of Sean Hannity and other ideologues near-unanimously declared that poor people are actually doing quite well because you can easily and cheaply eat rice and beans every day, but large bags of dried beans appear to be out of the question now.
I started thinking so I looked it up; dry beans are included in the list of items often distributed to developing countries and victims of natural disasters. Of course most Republicans also want to eliminate all foreign aid.
Perhaps we should start distributing dry beans to victims of man-made Republican disasters.