(Hat tip to Monkey.)
Rush Limbaugh, it’s time to retire. Rick Santorum, hang up your sweatervest. Thor, return home to Asgard. The come-from-behind dark-horse victor Senator Glenn Grothman has achieved the coveted trophy Biggest Douchebag on the Entire Planet.
No, that’s not a parody. He literally does believe that single parents (which, to be fair, in Senator Grothman’s mind means “slutty slutty single moms who slut about the place”) are a contributing factor to abuse.
Senator Grothman’s beliefs may seem superficially pro-dude. After all, he believes that fathers should be involved in their children’s lives, via the institution of marriage; I also agree that (barring extreme circumstances such as abuse) fathers should be involved in their children’s lives, just like mothers should be involved in their children’s lives. However, a further examination of his beliefs will show that he’s just an asshole.
We will now play a game! It is called LOL, Senator Grothman, You Have No Idea How Numbers Work.
Now, it may be found that the children of single parents may be more likely to be found to be abused! However, does that mean that if we make all the single parents get married that we will solve the problem of abuse? No, because there is an exciting concept called the “confounding variable.”
For instance, stigma against single parents may make PEOPLE more likely to see them as abusive and not notice abusive parents in two-parent homes. Your law may actually make this worse. Or single parents may be more likely to come into contact with mandatory reporters, such as social workers or welfare! Or a couple that has just gotten divorced has one partner with an obvious incentive to report abuse, and a couple with one abuser has an obvious incentive not to!
It is disrespect to awesome single fathers and single mothers everywhere to de facto accuse them of being abusers.
Further study of Grothman’s family-related oeuvre shows that he is, indeed, very bad at numbers, in addition to being a sexist fuckhead. For instance, on page three, he argues that the state is making mothers want to get married less, because they collect all kinds of money from the state. However, this is pretty much only because he has the hypothetical single mom making $15,000 a year marry a man making $35,000 a year. If she married a man making $15,000 a year, she’d STILL get to keep most of the benefits. (Admittedly, they’d be less because he had more income, but they’d also be slightly more because of the more people in the household.) That’s because they aren’t benefits for being a single parent, they’re benefits for being broke and a parent, and many single parents happen to be broke. So he has proved that… being over the poverty line makes people not able to get benefits anymore? Shocking revelations!
So, since he has identified this problem, he wants benefits to be available to more people, right? I mean, broke married couples should also be eligible! In these hard times a lot of people need some help, right?
Of course not, because that would make him a decent human being. Instead he wants drug testing and restricted food stamps!
Please note: there are quite a few single-parent families who would not be able to afford birthday cakes for their children without food stamps. Food stamps restricted to only buy “healthy” food means that those kids wouldn’t get cake on their birthdays. I’m just saying! Once you come out against poor kids being able to have birthday cake, you are pretty much the worst person alive.
That was a fun game! Let’s play another game. It’s called What’s Not Appearing In This Picture?
Let’s see here… single moms, single mothers, single women… huh. Senator Groffman appears to be completely unaware of the fact that sometimes men are single parents. I mean, I checked, all of the programs he complains about are gender-neutral. (And most of them apply to married couples too, but sigh.) If you’re a dad, you can take advantage of low-income housing assistance, free daycare, earned income credits, food stamps, energy assistance, BadgerCare healthcare, and school voucher programs, just like a mom!
I mean, let’s be fair here. If Senator Groffman was forced to acknowledge the existence of dads, he would have to give up his precious narrative about the abusive single moms slutting it about the place and neglecting their children, all on the taxpayer’s dime. Even worse, he’d have to admit that men can care about their children, even when they’re not roped into it by the legal system! Astonishing.