Monday, July 02, 2007

Meese the Randroid

I've seen exactly the same argument on libertarian and Randroid sites. From The Clothes Have No Emperor, pg 79:

12/15[/1983] Ed Meese tells the National Press Club that literature's classic miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, to whom he has recently been compared, suffered from "bad press in his time. If you really look at the facts, he didn't exploit Bob Cratchit." Explains Meese, "Bob Cratchit was paid 10 shillings a week, which was a very good wage at the time...Bob, in fact, had good cause to be happy with his situation. He lived in a house, not a tenement. His wife didn't have to work....He was able to afford the traditional Christmas dinner of roast goose and plum pudding....So let's be fair to Scrooge. He had his faults, but he wasn't unfair to anyone."

12/16[/1983] "Did he really say that? I can't believe he said that....Dickens is saying that the poor deserve to not live on the margins, but with comfort and love and with freedom and medical attention. I mean, isn't that the very point about Tiny Tim? ...He desperately needs a doctor and can't get to one because his family is so poor....He's dying because he can't get medical care....Boy, I'm really getting angry now. I can't believe these people."
--University of Pennsylvania Victorian literature scholar Nina Auerbach on the Meese interpretation of A Christmas Carol.