Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 25, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY.... We talked yesterday about former Nevada state Rep. Sharron Angle, a leading Republican candidate in the race to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). Angle, who enjoys the enthusiastic support of the Tea Party crowd, has some unorthodox views about a wide variety of issues.

Here, for example, is Angle reflecting on her childhood:

"We moved to the state of Nevada when I was three-and-a-half. My father bought a small business out in front of the convention center in Reno -- and it wasn't a convention center then; it was an onion field. But his small business was a motel. And so we did those things as a kid growing up that Americans don't do. We cleaned bathrooms and made beds and swept floors, did laundry, those kinds of things." [emphasis added]

In my experience, Americans clean bathrooms, make beds, sweep floors, and do laundry all the time, even in motels.

For the record, the video in which Angle makes the remarks wasn't captured by some tracker hoping to embarrass the far-right candidate -- it was posted to YouTube by the Angle campaign.

Steve Benen 3:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (30)

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And by "Americans," of course she means white affluent Americans.

Posted by: jvwalt on May 25, 2010 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

another gotcha video by the liberal media. this is why the democrats are so afraid of november. Also, Wolverines!

Posted by: meh on May 25, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

where does the nevada gop get these people? good grief ...

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK
Steve: "In my experience, Americans clean bathrooms, make beds, sweep floors, and do laundry all the time, even in motels."

Yeah, but you clearly missed Ms. Angle's point, which is that in her world, REAL Americans don't do such things, because why else would God have created Latina and Filipina maids?

Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on May 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

My mother lied to me!!!!! She made me make my own bed. She never let me in on the secret. I even did laundry, swept the floor and cleaned my bathroom last week. AND I AM WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not cool mother. Where do I get me a, whatever Angle is saying is supposed to be doing this for me.

Posted by: Patrick on May 25, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Real Americans employ illegal immigrants to do that kind of thing for them so they have plenty of time to go protest against things like illegal immigrants.

Posted by: doubtful on May 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Are you all for real? She is only parroting the popular mantra by supporters of illegal immigrants: "undocumented immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do"

She's just emphasizing that Americans actually can do these jobs. We don't need illegal immigrants to do them.

Posted by: John Rohan on May 25, 2010 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Since you're being so nitpicky, allow me the same privelige. Perhaps she meant they did those things a lot more than other children (by virtue of the fact that a motel needs this).

Posted by: J on May 25, 2010 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

J's right. It's clear from the context that she wasn't talking about plain old house chores but work that people get paid for, that needs to be done to run a successful business.

Running a motel isn't easy at all. My mom worked herself to death doing it (long sad story which I'll spare you).

Posted by: Allard on May 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I am assuming this is a diss at modern day parenting styles where it could be that many parents don't have children do chores. If that is the case she obviously was way less than clear.

I can personally attest (as the only person living in my house) that I make the bad (not every day) clean the bathroom, do laundry, etc.

Posted by: ET on May 25, 2010 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think that gop feed-at-the-public-trough hog would have Saturday free to come to our house and do some light chores? Do you mow lawns too?

Posted by: buddym on May 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

OK John, let's look at the logic. Either the stereotype that only illegals tend to do these jobs:

a) is true - which implies that either American's won't do these jobs at the money offered, or that American employers conspire to not hire Americans.

b) is false - which suggests her talking point is bogus.

If it is true, then is the problem that employers are offering money that is too low, or that they are hiring illegals. Either way, it seems obvious that the problem is the employers, not (just) the illegals ...

Posted by: royalblue_tom on May 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

John has a point. It's just as possible she was being snarky about the general consensus that illegal immigrants are doing the jobs that Americans are too stupid or lazy to appreciate.

However, she said "we did those jobs that Americans don't do," which is different from "won't" do. If she was parroting the Immigrant supporters' mantra, what was her purpose? Is she agreeing that illegals perform vital services and contribute greatly to our economy? Or is she saying Americans need to toughen up and take those back from illegals?

Whatever she meant, there's no doubting that it comes across as more than a little insensitive to anyone who has ever worked in a service industry, legally or not; American or not.

Posted by: chrenson on May 25, 2010 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, trying to figure out what her point is... that we need better immigration laws that let people into America to do these jobs? Or as stated above, we need to force Americans to do this work.

Posted by: Julene on May 25, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Or, is she suggesting that child labor laws be repealed so we can hire children to maintain motels and hotels? The work is pretty easy and is good training for when they grow up and have to perform these tasks, anyway. They really don't need an education for this kind of work, so we could reduce the need for schools and teachers, thus saving tons of money/taxes. Reduce the taxes of motel/hotel owners because they are keeping children out of school to save taxpayer money. Parents could home school, after the day's work is done. I haven't totally thought out this strategy, but I think I have communicated the basic benefits: tap an untapped labor force; reduce taxpayer contributions to education and keep the children off the streets and out of trouble...reduce prison populations, too.

I think the good Senator-to-be left out a whole campaign plank.

Posted by: st john on May 25, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

In case anyone missed it, the preceding comment is mostly snark. The work is not easy and does require intelligence and judgment.

Posted by: st john on May 25, 2010 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

She probably swapped chickens with Lowdon too...I dunno...I made beds, swept floors and even OMIGOD cooked when I was young...I guess I was white trash???

Posted by: SYSPROG on May 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think she meant "that most American kids don't do when growing up." I'd guess she was thinking of her own children. I'm afraid she's right about most American kids. Fact is it is usually easier for parents (which usually means mothers) to do all that themselves.

Of course it is possible that she thinks most Americans hire non-citizens to do that stuff. I'd guess that's what she does now. Or else US citizens hired to do that in other people's houses aren't real Americans.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on May 25, 2010 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

My younger brothers and sisters worked in my parents' motel at the time and they didn't grow up to be vicious teabaggers.

They grew up to be hardworking Democrats.

Posted by: Cha on May 25, 2010 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think she probably meant most Americans don't clean other people's bathroom, do other people's laundry, etc.

Posted by: bobbo on May 25, 2010 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

John Rohan has it exactly right.

You would have to be living in a cave for the past ten years to not be familiar with the argument that we need illegal immigrants "to do the jobs that Americans won't do." Representative Angle is clearly challenging that assumption head-on, and she's doing so in a way that cites her own personal experience and gives her some credibility. There's nothing to criticize here.

I'm a card-carrying Democrat, but I'd be more likely to vote FOR Angle after reading Steve's post. I'd love to have a Senator who rejects the idea that the United States needs a vast, illegal workforce. And I'd also love to have a senator who has some first-hand experience doing menial labor.

Posted by: Oregonian on May 25, 2010 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

@J, @Allard,

At the very least, Angle's statement is a kindergarten level expression of a pretty simple idea. She actually worked when she was a kid.

As I understand it, Teabaggers (in Arizona at least) think that educators with "foreign accents" should not be allowed to teach.

However, it completely ok for a slow-mutant moron who is incapable of pronouncing nuclear, or forming a thought into a coherent sentence to be a president, vice-president or senator.

The Republican canard about Obama's agenda and policies being the death of the nation are pure projection.

If we continue to populate government agencies with neocon loyal bushies and elect jingoistic idiots, it's only a matter of time before one of these fools says (bomb Iran) or does (inappropriate neck rub) something stupid to the Chinese, Russians, or whoever and sparks WWIII

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 25, 2010 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

"I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor
and I polished up the handle on the big front door
I polished up the handle so catefull
that I could decare my congressional canadacy... (sic)"

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on May 25, 2010 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"I think she probably meant most Americans don't clean other people's bathroom, do other people's laundry, etc."
As opposed to which race of folks whom nature prescribed to do those things for others?

Posted by: Heraclitus on May 25, 2010 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing Sharron was able to bootstrap her way to a career with a family so poor they could buy only one motel by the Reno Airport.

Posted by: beejeez on May 25, 2010 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me the real damning part was not the "work that Americans don't do", which could be taken as either irony or implicit criticism of lack of work eithic. Rather, it was when she was talking about her Dad's offer to give her the family business, and she responded "NO thanks, I'm going to college", which really was a slam at the type of hard work needed to run a mom and pop motel.

Posted by: dcsusie on May 25, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

I respectfully disagree

with all the interpretations of Ms. Angle's remarks. I think she was making the point that her family started out as entrepreneurs and was SO POOR AT THE BEGINNING that they had to have their own children do the scutt work that, by rights, Americans don't do.

And since she, as a child, did jobs like this that were and still are beneath Americans, she understands better what it takes to succeed in this country, and is willing to do the dirty work needed for success. (She'll do it in Congress, too.)

She may also be subtly denigrating all illegal immigrants by implying that what they do is so simple and easy that small children are more than adequate substitutes. Another good reason to keep them out; who needs retards like that? Especially if they don't even speak English good.

Posted by: Zandru on May 25, 2010 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK
Zandru: "Especially if they don't even speak English good."

And if she were here, Ms. Angle would correct your English by point out that the correct term is "gooder than you." ;-D

Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on May 25, 2010 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Forget about the illegal immigration aspect to this, what about Nevada child labor laws?

Posted by: C.S. on May 25, 2010 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, my brother-in-law lives down in Little Rock. A few years ago he was working for a real estate developer on a new residential development in town. He had to hire people at the initial stages of the project to clear brush, take down small trees, pick up trash, clean the site, etc. etc. during the summer months. Summer in Little Rock is brutally hot, and doing that kind of work in the broiling Arkansas heat is not pleasant. The hours were long and the work was dirty and physically demanding, and it's not for older folks. He initially tried to hire young local residents, and not a one of them, white or black, stayed with it for more than a few days. Eventually he was forced to do the thing he was trying to avoid, which was to hire Hispanic workers. I don't know if he tried to find out if they were legal or illegal, but the fact remains that the ONLY people he could hire who stayed on the job and got the work done were Hispanic. Frankly, I've believed for over two decades that the vast majority of native-born American kids—of all races and ethnic origins—are lazy and spoiled, with absolutely no clue what hard work really is.

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK
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