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Oct 02, 2012


Jay McHue

Editor's note: This is the second time this individual played the victim in my comment section, so his mastery of tactics exceeds his understanding of the concept of a "fact."

And it does sound like he chose public assistance for a time, then declined it. Representative Franson states that she picked a different route, declining it altogether. I'd say that he had "been there," having first-hand experience under the system, while Franson experienced struggles. The blogger doesn't say that she had been poor--he says: "the freshman conservative from Alexandria is most famous for the teapot-tempest that blew up last year about her video noting – from the perspective of someone who’d been there – that welfare treats people “like animals”. "

The most straighforward reading of that is that Franson knows that welfare treats people like animals because she's been there.

And there's nothing in the original video that notes that perspective--nor any of her struggle. She simply tells the "joke" that compares feeding people with food stamps with feeding wild animals in parks. That comparison was what people found to be offensive. Indeed, had she actually talked about her own struggles with poverty and overcoming them with hard work, rather than repeating a tasteless joke, her appeal to ethos would have been much stronger, as evidenced in the debate video.

The comment:

I know for a fact that you will NEVER approve this comment, but you WILL still have to read it. My wife and I also "have been there" -- i.e. in the position of being in need of assistance. We were barely scraping by for the first few years of our marriage and after our first two children were born. We actually took minimal assistance via WIC for a time, but we eventually stopped after choosing to claw our way into self-reliance. Welfare certainly was an option on the table for us, but we rejected it. So yes, as I said, we've been there, too. That we didn't choose welfare doesn't mean we weren't there.


Not trying to flog an agenda, just trying to clarify that Franson tells a different story about where she's been. Had she actually framed her concerns about welfare in terms of her own life story to begin with, I think that appeal to ethos would have been a lot stronger.

I will note your changes in an update in the body of the post.


Hey, Sally Jo,

Good editorial catch, there, but that wasn't what I was implying. It was an admittedly sloppy reference to exactly the sort of story you quoted from the PPTV interview.

While you are one of the very few Minnesota leftybloggers whose writing I genuinely respect (much as I disagree with you), the only "reasonable person" who would have inferred as you did would be one who was *really* digging to flog an agenda. Even as sloppy as my statement was.

I fixed my statement. Your turn!


Sally Jo,

Thanks for the note. My original intent could not have possible been further removed from your conclusion; my bad.

But as to whether Rep. Franson's story would be better had she *been* on assistance? I think the story she tells resonates with an awful lot of us who worked through some nasty times in our own lives. There are a lot of us out there.

Editor's note: I think that her struggles resonate with a lot of people. And as I say in my earlier comment note, I think that story is much more powerful than the tasteless "joke." Hence, the importance of being clear about what that story is. I don't think it's relevant whether the story is better or worse if she had been on public assistance--it's simply not her story and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, her story is the one that should be told accurately.

Anyway, thanks.

Jay McHue

Editor's note: Bluestem posts headnotes on comments from time; it's an effective way to counter trolls(especially those who whine that their remarks won't be published) and to deter the practice of some to link only to their comments, without also linking to responses, when they brag about their "gotchas." Thus, headnotes stop a great deal of mischief from the self-chosen heroes of the revolution, whether from the right or the left.

Comments aren't edited. And if Mr. McHue doesn't like the policy, Bluestem recommends that he try trolling elsewhere or to continue to be victimized when he comes here. Anyone with a brain could figure that one out.

The comment:

Wow. What a strange blog you run here. You edit people's comments in order to insert your own opinions in an attempt to discredit the comments before people have a chance to read them and make their own judgments. "Here's a comment that was submitted, but the person is full of crap, so don't believe a word of it." Very, very strange behavior.

And no, she didn't compare people who are on welfare to feeding wild animals. She compared the government getting people dependent on welfare to the government not wanting wild animals to get dependent on being fed. Anyone with a brain or who doesn't have a particular agenda against Rep. Franson can understand that obvious fact.

Phoenix Woman

So Mansplaining Mitch showed up, eh? Not only did he try the Mansplain Gambit on Rep. Franson, he tried it on you. Didn't work either time, as we can see.

Oh, well, at least he knows better than to whine and go all passive-aggressive like the other guy, who is apparently ticked off that you're not the pushover he apparently expects all non-righty bloggers to be. Poor thing; shall I summon a waaahhmbulance for him?

Editor's note: Nah, save the waaahmbulance for Allen Quist.

Jay McHue

Editor's note: Jay's delusions of grandeur on behalf of Bluestem are indeed flattering. However, his fantods illustrate that trolls have a very difficult time learning that messing with billygoats has consequences. Bluestem anticipates his return to the prairie to guard the bridge time after time.

Wow, Sally Jo. Imagine if newspapers started doing to reader's letters what you do with comments. (Which, despite your protests and claims to the contrary, IS editing them.) Utterly pathetic, but then, you are a leftist. You guys never play fair. What's the matter? Too afraid to leave critical comments unmolested? Too afraid that your readers will dare think and judge for themselves? Probably. Leftists hate it when people think for themselves because when people do that, they quickly become conservative Republicans.

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