New Frontiers In Assholery

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Memo to America's Wingnuts: YES. THEY WERE POOR.

There's been a lot of awfulness from the usual suspects in the wake of the Boston bombings. I've made the conscious decision to ignore most of it, because it's all so predictable and boring.

A couple of Muslims did it, so they're all being awful to Muslims, awful about Muslims, awful near Muslims. For some reason, the incredible amount of nuance, analysis, and parsing that took place when a Norwegian Christian got radicalized by a bunch of crazy anti-immigrant stuff on the Internet isn't happening when a couple of Chechnyan punks got radicalized by a bunch of crazy anti-American stuff on the Internet.

But in the last day or two, a new development has led to a new, deeply dumb wave of awfulness from these shitheads. It's also incredibly predictable, When a bad thing happens, and the bad thing is associated with a thing you don't like, you want to connect them. And if the connection is plausible, you go ahead and make it. And if the connection isn't plausible, and you don't give a shit, you might be a wingnut.

And thus did the news that the Tsarnaev family, including the dead bomber and his wife, and the brothers' parents, have at one point or another, as recently as a year ago, received welfare benefits explode through the wingnutosphere like a comet made of poop.

RedState asked, "Does The U.S. Welfare System Benefit Jihadists?" Monica Crowley asked, "Nice return on our investment, huh?" Fox News lamented that taxpayers were "giving money to at least one of the bombing suspects".

Let me help you all with this. Yes, the welfare system benefits jihadists. It benefits a lot of people, and since nobody has developed an accurate jihadist detector, regardless of what Sean Hannity claims about dark skin and beards, I'm sure some jihadists receive public assistance.

As for the return on our investment, well, that's tricky. I mean, after all, through hard work and 80-hour weeks, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife was able to earn enough money to get the family off of public assistance last year. That's a tough life, but exactly the kind of "welfare-to-work" ideology that Republicans promoted until Democrats adopted it, forcing Republicans to switch their policy to "fuck people on welfare".

And since Tsarnaev only set off bombs a year after he left welfare as per the Republican prescription for bootstrapping, whose investment did we get such a shitty return on, then? Of course, the Tsarnaevs' leaving welfare had as much to do with his radicalism as their being on it, but if they can point their thing out, I can point my thing out.

And we didn't give taxpayer money to a bombing suspect. Generally speaking, being a convicted terrorist makes you ineligible for public assistance. So does being dead. Even the traditional, old-fashioned racial profiling techniques used by conservatives since 9/11 wouldn't have kept the Tsarnaevs off of welfare, since they were Slavic and not named "Mohammed".

And as for the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of someone benefiting from the American government while going on the Internet and learning to hate it more and more, I anxiously await the call to send Craig T. Nelson to Guantanamo for his infamous statement that "I've been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No."

So yes, wingnuts. Poor people get government assistance. There are plenty of checks in place to make sure they're poor, and no checks in place to make sure Rush Limbaugh likes them. That's how things work. Suck it up.