Friday, January 27, 2012

Newt's Poem to Poor Kids: An Original Poem about Newt Gingrich


Today, I’m sharing an original poem about Newt Gingrich that I included in The Republicans’ “Ideas Man” & The Junior Janitors of America, an article I wrote for Jonathan Turley’s law blog. Some of you may remember that Newt said he thought child labor laws were stupid when he spoke at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government last year. He had a hare-brained idea that unionized school janitors could be fired and poor students could earn some “honest” money working as assistant janitors under one master janitor.


Newt’s own words:

“It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid. Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”

“You’re going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America.”

That’s one radical proposal for sure. And one for which the Republicans’ “Ideas Man” received quite a bit of criticism. Later, Newt bowed “to concerns that janitorial work is dangerous.” He then decided he needed to clarify his proposal and provided more specifics. He said poor kids could mop floors and clean bathrooms after school. He also suggested that they could sit in a clerical office greeting people.

Click here to read my Turley blog post.

Here is my poem:

Newt’s Poem to Poor Kids
Go fetch a bucket
And grab a mop.
Now get to work.
Clean up that slop.
Scrub the bathrooms
From stem to stern.
Don’t be a slug.
It’s time to earn
Your living, kid.
You’re poor. Boohoo!
I have no pity
For kids like you.

********************

The Poetry Friday can be found at Hey, Jim Hill!


15 comments:

Renee LaTulippe said...

Ouch! Now there's a poem that takes no prisoners and so eloquently points out how "truly stupid" Newt's ideas are. Brava - I hope you sent this to him!

Glad to find you through Poetry Friday. :)

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jama said...

Brava, Elaine! Wonderful post and poem. I've just subscribed to Turley's blog.

Linda at teacherdance said...

I too didn't know about Turley's blog. I watched the debate last night, & each time become more alarmed. Thank you for this, Elaine. I am reminded of a poem I posted a few weeks ago by Natasha Trelawney, titled "Domestic Work". http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/025.html

david elzey said...

i once saw a program like this, were "trouble" kids were allowed to "work off" detentions and suspensions through helping the janitors clean up the lunch room. coincidentally, many of the trouble kids were also poor, and when the other kids knew they had work details they would deliberately make messes knowing these kids would have to clean them up. the taunting never ended.

brilliant idea, newt. increase the disparity between haves and have-nots by socially ostracizing kids with demeaning jobs in their school communities.

i have found that politicians with big ideas tend to have ideas that will have no effect on their lives, only on those they wish to control.

sorry, elaine. the poem is on-target, but i cannot believe anyone is taking this man seriously, and its hard not to react to his comments.

Tara said...

This man is despicable - I am sorry he felt the need to crawl out from under his rock to participate as a candidate for the office of President. UGH! Your poem and Turley's blog are spot on - this is all about blaming the poor and further demeaning them. I can't wait for this election to be over!

Mary Lee said...

One of my favorite parts of election season is your sharp wit. Hoping for more on Political Verses as the craziness unfolds!

Jane Singleton Paul said...

Elaine, you nailed it! This poem is so funny, and so biting. I don't know if I'll dare teach it to my third graders, but I will certainly memorize it and pull it out at judicious moments… Thanks so much for your sharp wit.

Janet Wong said...

Wow--you packed everything you needed to say in such a short space!

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Wonderful poem. What do you think about the candidates positions on not taxing the rich? Gingrich, it should be noted, thinks the super-rich like Romney pay too much in tax, and wants to further reduce the tax on capital gains and dividends, virtually eliminating Romney’s federal income tax liability.

If you want to watch something really funny, watch the (http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-february-2-2012-david-agus Track 7:15. I couldn’t stop laughing. Yet it is so sad.

Here's an excerpt...

"Why do you think that we came up with all these 'soon to haves' and 'job creator' [soundbites] nonsense? It's to make these people think that we're their heroes. Then they'll blame themselves for not being rich and we keep them in a state of consumerist torpid depression until they die of Type 2 diabetes on a pile of scratch-off lottery tickets. It's perfect."
— John Hodgeman

Ali B said...

Elaine, anyone who can show Newt's stupidity through poetry is tops in my book. Love it!

http://literarylunchbox.blogspot.com/

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