This used to be frowned upon

We can’t comment on all that’s gone wrong with Madison’s one remaining daily newspaper, but the weird and inconsistent editorial page can still provoke us, once in a while, to write something.

Before we get to griping, however, let’s applaud (yet again) the State Journal’s continuing efforts to get Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature to hold just a simple darn hearing on fair voting districts. That hearing won’t happen, of course, because… well, look at who the Republicans are. But onward to the latest gripe.

On Tuesday the Wisconsin State Journal editorialized for cuts in food stamps. Holy mother of God… Need it be said? This kind of un-does any credit they were accruing from their fair redistricting editorials.

Call us old-fashioned but we believe everybody should have food to eat. Time was, everybody believed that. Or if they didn’t, they felt constrained to keep it to themselves. Especially during Christmas season.

So it’s been amazing to see the Republican Party roll out their attack on food stamps. Doubtless there’s some cohort of bloodless Scrooges who are on board for bashing the hungry, but are there really that many of them? And now the State Journal?

Hating the poor and the hungry used to be frowned upon. Saying “screw the hungry” wasn’t illegal, but it was definitely frowned upon. All the major religions were agreed on that point at least. This kept society just a little more decent. Less vicious. Now that’s changing. Republicans have decided to double-down on Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe. Fuck the poor. Fuck the hungry. It’s the latest new song in the GOP hymnal, and we were surprised to see the State Journal pick up the melody so quickly.

Hymn #206 — All Praise the Makers, Forget the Takers. Was that song always in the hymnal, lurking, waiting to be discovered and sung aloud? We’d never noticed it until lately. Things sure do change.

Once upon a time, Americans would never resort to torture. It was part of our shared American brand, and then suddenly we learned that we were, in fact, performing systematic acts of torture, worldwide. Soon, all the Republican candidates for President were on stage endorsing torture. None of them demurred. The old rules were out. Torture was in, under a new name. The State Journal never said peep.

That’s the way it works. One day torture is frowned upon. Slamming the poor with their food stamps is looked upon poorly. Then later, if the signal comes, it can all change before you know it.