The following is an Oldie But Goodie. A nice lady named Susan emailed to request "the piece about Old Mother Hubbard and Obama." I had a bit of a time finding it; it turned up in my book, The Newshawk Reports. Susan, I must say, you have some memory.
I’ve decided, after long and arduous contemplation of the issue, there are good points to liberalism. I’m just not smart enough to figure out what they are.
One of the problems is that liberalism is too extreme. Once something takes hold, it grows and grows and grows, ad nauseum. Take the war on poverty, for example. It started with liberals saying they really wanted to help the poor (which is an admirable goal), and, of course, blamed conservatives for poverty. However, through the centuries, it has always been mostly Christian conservatives who have lent helping hands to the less fortunate. They just weren’t as ready to steal the money from others to do it. They did it with their own money.
One of the poorest people in history was Old Mother Hubbard. She was so poor, a poem was written about her and, now, millions flock to her skirts, a testament to the attraction of being indigent and having realAmericans pay one’s way through life. No rock star, no athlete ever had a larger assemblage of groupies than Old Mother Hubbard.
Most everyone knows of the poetry written about her: Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor doggie a bone. But when she got there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor doggie got none. Now that’s a sad story, don’t you think?
But was it really written with poor people in mind? No, it wasn’t. The poor are never in anybody’s mind. It is actually a parody on the attempt of King Henry VIII to procure a divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. (Yeah, I know you think I’m wacked, but it’s true!) Henry needed the approval of the Catholic Church to pull it off and had given the task of negotiations with the pope to Cardinal Wolsey. The cardinal, as we know, failed (otherwise there would be no Protestants) and, consequently, fell into disfavor with Henry. The failure proved a career ender for Wolsey, who was forced to relinquish his sumptuous living quarters and his mistresses, among other valued possessions. So the cardinal became poor and became Mother Hubbard in the famous attempt at poetry. The cupboard referred to the church, the doggie was King Henry, the bone a divorce. So Cardinal Wolsey went to the church to get King Henry a divorce. When he got there, there was no divorce, so Henry couldn’t have one. Make sense now?
Of course giving our money away in welfare benefits is a corner post in the long fence of liberalism. It is one of the issues that defines the movement, like abortion. Talk of repealing Roe v. Wade will bring he who speaks thusly looks of thinly-veiled suspicion of an ADHD diagnosis.
Years ago the poor didn’t need liberals to get by, nor would they have accepted too much of their help. Now, the welfare rats scurry in from miles around to feast upon the plump cheese of other people’s money. The few who needed help getting by have become the many who think they have a right to eat for free. Is this where the motto Live Free or Die comes from?
Meanwhile the country is drowning in red ink. As one might expect it’s the more liberal states that are in the deepest trouble, mostly because of entitlements. I have not heard one governor, not one, of a blue state suggest cutting back on handing out welfare checks to help his or her state balance the books. I’ve wondered if this guy Obama isn’t behind it. His liberalness would not allow a reduction in welfare. Liberals want more of it, not less. It makes them feel needed and loved and electable.
Could there be an end to the waste in sight? Let us again wax poetic. What if the president was Mother Hubbard, the cupboard was congress and bones were money? Then: Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get more welfare bones. When he bent over, he found that the voters had a few bones of their own.
That might work. Whadya think?