Republicans Seek to Eliminate ‘Obamaphone’ Program

My Thursday column and another Republican attack on poor people:

When the Republicans determined that ACORN had somehow helped President Obama win the 2008 presidential election, and following a heavily-doctored video prank by James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart, the Republicans began a legislative witch hunt that ended with the total eradication of ACORN even though it really hadn’t done anything wrong — other than being conspiratorially associated with the Obama campaign. Oh, and it helped poor people, and Republicans will have none of that.

With the ACORN victory under its belt, the GOP aimed its crosshairs at Planned Parenthood. In this case, it wasn’t necessarily because it was associated with the Obama White House, but because of yet another selectively edited and therefore highly deceptive O’Keefe/Breitbart video. The de-funding campaign by the Republicans hasn’t yet been successful at the federal level, but Republican-controlled state legislatures are hard at work on the process, too, with successes in Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — all of which have cut funding to the organization.

I’m sure you recall a video that circulated around the tubes before the election of an African American woman who was attending a roadside rally for the Obama campaign. In the video, the woman ranted somewhat incoherently about her apparently free “Obamaphone.” As soon as Drudge plastered her face above his logo, far-right Republican heads began to immediately explode over the notion of “minorities” receiving free phones from the White House as alleged bribes for volunteerism and votes.

Yesterday, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark) announced that he and Michele Bachmann were co-sponsoring legislation to eliminate the so-called Obamaphone program. [continue reading here]

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  • JimmyAbra

    In somewhat-related news…Food stamps at records BUT Lamborghini sales are up as well!

  • Ned F

    At least they voted yesterday to stop Obama from eliminating welfare to work rules which would have allowed welfare takers to not have to look for work. Now they need to address the creeping threat of Sharia Law.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Republicans have gotten a lot of political mileage out pf promising to “eliminate” things that don’t exist, “stop” things that aren’t happening, “prevent” things that have no chance of happening, “start” doing things that are already being done, “allow” things that are already allowed, “prohibit” things that are already prohibited, “bring back” or “restore” things that never went away or that never existed in the first place, “find out” things we already know, “ask the questions” that have already been asked and answered, and “have an adult conversation” about things adults have been conversing about for decades.

    Why stop now?

    It’s like the “47%” video that everyone’s talking about again. Self-congratulation and resentment motivate Republican voters to keep voting Republican. Griffin and Bachmann, like Romney, are just doing their job.

    • D_C_Wilson

      It beats solving real problems and pays just the same.

  • muselet

    … welfare recipients will lose access to affordable phone services making it more difficult to call an ambulance or to get job …

    Which will, in the fevered imaginations of the Right, somehow prove once and for all that those lazy, shiftless welfare recipients don’t want to work (if they wanted to work, they’d have found a way to leave a contact number even though they don’t have phones). The Right will then push for negative welfare (any person without a job must pay $1000 a month to the nearest rich person) and negative food assistance (any person who can’t afford food must buy the nearest rich person’s caviar, beluga if possible but sterlet would be acceptable in a pinch).

    I’m just surprised those ideas aren’t part of Paul Ryan’s budget already.

    –alopecia

  • mrbrink

    Since 2007, the number of payphones in the United States in operation has declined by 48 percent, which is also a big reason why the Safelink program has been expanding. They’ve been taking the public phones off the street for years, crude and unsightly as they are, but without the Safelink program to fill the void, millions of people who cannot afford the outrageous costs in obtaining and maintaining cell phone and service would be cut off without redress. Their lines of communication all but snuffed out.

    You take the public payphones away and then take away Safelink program, Republicans will be achieving their desired outcome as they did with ACORN, which is to cut lines of communication for poor and smother democracy in its bed like cowards in the night. Republicans are at war with the great majority of the American people, many of whom are still unconvinced they are as sadistic as advertised, so when so-called liberals are off crawling up drone policy’s ass with a 24 hour a day voyeur cam, Republicans are stealing elections and destroying the people who suffer most under the jackbooted tyranny of GOP politics.