Newt Gingrich’s Malicious Food Stamp Malarkey
Newt Gingrich knows how to best appeal to the underbelly of the GOP base, and the very best way to do that is to set them against a perceived and long held enemy.
Game theory demonstrates time and again that most humans will screw themselves to prevent someone else from getting something that they aren’t, even if it causes no harm or foul to them. It’s part of the social evolution of our brains that cunning populist pols understand very well. Newt also knows that if you are going to lie, you lie BIG.
So he appeals to the working poor and middle class GOP voter by setting them against the very poor - in times of trouble that seems like a formula doomed to fail, but — gaming theory shows that even the slightest perceptual imbalances, true or not, are powerful forces in swaying the greed and envy “fairness” triggers in the human mind.
Reasoning people are going to think past those triggers, but the base Newt is pandering to in the primaries works on intuition, gut, group think, and mob catechisms. When he says “food stamps” they know the details implied from following Newt’s long career, and they aren’t going ponder the need, or even wonder what it would be like if that shoe were on the opposite foot.
He kicked this off by calling President Obama “the most successful food stamp president in history.”
This base appeal to paleo conservative groupthink is something Newt learned long ago — in the old days using terms such as “Welfare queens” was common, and Newt’s followers in the South had no problem imagining what skin color that welfare queen had who was having all those babies so they could scam more food stamps…
So Newt just got a “Pants on Fire” award from Politifact for lying about food stamps, throwing out malarkey about being able to buy anything and everything with food stamps (in the old populist pol days it was just booze that was lied about,) since they use credit cards instead of stamps now.
He said people are going to Hawaii with them, and that millionaires are getting food stamps. [Note the plural: there’s exactly one known millionaire lotto winner who continued receiving food stamps after winning in Michigan. That State’s law has since been fixed.)
Gingrich is completely willing to make the exception the rule, knowingly and with malice to throw both the poor and their children under his neo confederate primary bus.