Congressman Terrifies, Confuses Children

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 20 2011 2:51 PM

Congressman Terrifies, Confuses Children

The Whitest Kids You Know, a comedy troupe, have a sketch called "Scaring Babies." In it, a sadistic young man tells a toddler about the rising cost of college tuition and the hole in the ozone layer. He gets no reaction, so he has to scream at the baby instead.

Anyway, that's what I'm reminded of in this story about Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.

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During his trip to Limestone County, Brooks spoke to seventh-graders at Athens Middle School because they are going to Washington, D.C., next week, and he will not be in his office. Brooks asked students to raise their hands if they were familiar with the budget deficit. Few responded.  Brooks explained to them that America is borrowing 42 cents on $1 and has a national deficit of $1.6 trillion this fiscal year.  "That’s money you’re going to have to pay," he told them.

Later...

One Athens seventh-grader asked Rep. Mo Brooksabout the health care bill Tuesday.

Brooks said he knows nothing in the Constitution that empowers thegovernment to tell Americans what products or services to buy.

"I believe in free enterprise, not socialism," he saidduring a visit to Athens Middle School. "Government-run healthcare takes us down a socialist path. We are marching slowly butsurely to socialism."

... He told the seventh-graders socialism is "not a dirty word."

I actually agree with Brooks on the "socialism" thing. But anyone who doesn't want to dismantle the welfare state brick by brick is practicing socialism.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.