Welfare Lies Redux

One of the byproducts of the Akin saga has been that it blotted out discussion of many other issues, including the one with which I began my blogging day: the latest installment of the Romney campaign’s audacious, mendacious, and racially-toxic ads attacking Barack Obama for an imaginary abolition of work requirements for welfare recipients.

My unhappy post earlier today went after the limp credibility offered in the latest ad by a hackish Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial that quoted a half-hearted and extremely unpersuasive column by the Daily Caller‘s Mickey Kaus. But at WaPo’s Plum Line, Jamelle Bouie noticed something even more self-damning about the Times-Dispatch screed: its line of attack was condemned as “False” by the T-D’s very own PolitiFact Virginia when it was first offered by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

This won’t stop the ads, obviously; at most the Romney campaign feels the need to offer the barest whisp of a justification for this crap, so that its supporters can retreat into he-said she-said land when this racially inflammatory bid for white working-class votes draws criticism as something that might have embarrassed George Wallace.

But since Mitt’s Team is going to stay brazen on this subject, I’d suggest progressives consider a counter-punch that points out the vast damage to work-based welfare reform posed by Romney’s and Ryan’s budget proposals as they affect the critical work supports of the earned income tax credit, food stamps, and the expanded health coverage offered via the Affordable Care Act. Now there’s a real effort to “gut” welfare reform!

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.