Farm Bill

Politicians will tell you otherwise. Don't believe them.

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At first glance, the event last week at the Lucky Strike restaurant-cum-bowling lanes at Gallery Place in Washington looked like most others on the city’s influence-industry circuit, with a table full of name tags for the expected senators, House members and staffers; young aides strapping wristbands on guests to designate them deserving of free drinks; and copious platters of chicken fingers and Asian rolls. But wait, what was this?

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When it passed a bill to cut $39 billion from the food stamp program, or SNAP, the House of Representatives put the worst of the Republican party’s illogical Randism on display.

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Almost exactly ten years ago, I was on an airplane, and had the good luck to be seated next to a very distinguished, highly regarded United States senator. (Hi ho the glamorous life!) This man was a senator of the sort that they don’t make anymore. He collected honorary degrees the way other people collect stamps. He was the object of secret scorn and public praise by the young Turks of his party. Many people thought he should have been Secretary of State. He probably thought so himself. He certainly looked the part—perhaps not as much as the current holder of the job, but it was close.

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