We posted last night on how an activist from the Florida chapter of the NOW was caught on video mocking Joni Ernst’s story from her SOTU response on how she was so poor growing up that she’d have to wear “bread bags” on her shoes to protect them from the snow or rain.
But you’ll reach an entirely new level of outrage at this woman’s mockery — and every lib’s mockery — after you read this wonderful piece by Megan McArdle titled “When Bread Bags Weren’t Funny.”
Joni Ernst, who is just a few years older than me, had a much more affluent childhood than the generation that settled the prairies, and more affluent still than the generations before them. But in many ways, she was much poorer than the people making fun of her on Twitter, simply because so many goods have gotten so much more abundant. Not just processed foods and flat-screen televisions — the favorite target of people who like to pooh-pooh economic progress. But good and necessary things such as shoes for your children and fresh vegetables to feed them, even in winter.
In every generation, we forget how much poorer we used to be, and then we forget that we have forgotten. We focus on the things that seem funny or monstrous or quaint and darling. Somehow the simplest and most important fact — the immense differences between their living standards and ours — slides right past our eye. And when Ernst tried to remind us, people didn’t say “Wow, we’ve really come a long way”; they pointed and laughed.
And here are few of the tweets praising McCardle’s masterful piece:
Keep in mind that after Ernst’s SOTU response, PolitiFact thought it would be amusing to find out what rural voters thought of the “bread bag” story:
But why even fact-check it? They seem surprised that the story was a) true and b) resonated with the very voters libs are desperate to attract in 2016:
From a purely political perspective, Christopher Larimer, a political science professor at the University of Northern Iowa, said rural Iowans of both parties can connect to Ernst’s story. For Democrats, it’s unlikely to give them more reason to support Ernst. They would find the bread bag story unremarkable. But for her supporters, it’s yet another endearing feather in her cap.
Incidentally, Larimer grew up in small-town Iowa and said the practice of using bread bags to keep your feet dry was not uncommon, though he hasn’t noticed it much in recent years.
Over to you, libs. Still laughing?