Hypocrite [hip-uh-krit] noun: 1 A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
Hypocrite used in a sentence: The newly elected Republican senator from Iowa Joni Ernst is a hypocrite.
I am sure by know you are all painfully aware of Mrs. Ernst. She burst upon the political landscape with her now infamous ad entitled 'Squeal". In the ad she list among her bona fides that she is a "mother", a "conservative", a "soldier" and lest we forget a "hog castrator"!
In addition to these fine traits Ernst also offers an insight into what she will bring to Washington politics when she lets us know that her "parents taught us to live within our means". She claims that the qualitiy of self sufficiency that she was imbued with by her parents now give her the tools necessary to make "Washington do the same," and that she would "Cut wasteful spending" and "Balance the budget".
Watch the ad in all it's nutty glory here...
With such a rousing message one would understand just why the Republican party chose to let Ernst give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address last week.
In her response, she decided to beat a dead horse and once again let everyone know of her family's humble beginnings saying...
"They had very little to call their own except the sweat on their brow and the dirt on their hands. But they worked, they sacrificed, and they dreamed big dreams for their children and grandchildren. And because they did, an ordinary Iowan like me has had some truly extraordinary opportunities because they showed me that you don’t need to come from wealth or privilege to make a difference. You just need the freedom to dream big, and a whole lot of hard work."
The most memorable passage in Senator Ernst's speech was when she spoke of her plight with fine footwear bemoaning...
"We were raised to live simply, not to waste. It was a lesson my mother taught me every rainy morning.You see, growing up, I had only one good pair of shoes. So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry..."
What a stunning and heart wrenching story... But, alas...
What Ernst failed to mention in the address was that her family did not suffer the misfortunes of poverty as profoundly as she would have us believe. You see, the truth of the matter is that Ernst's family received a whole lot of federal help from the government along the way:
Let's start at the top...
Ernst’s father, Richard Culver, was given $14,705 in conservation payments and $23,690 in commodity subsidies by the federal government–with all but twelve dollars allocated for corn support. Richard’s brother, Dallas Culver, benefited from $367,141 in federal agricultural aid, with over $250,000 geared toward corn subsidies. And the brothers’ late grandfather Harold Culver received $57,479 from Washington—again, mostly corn subsidies—between 1995 and 2001. He passed away in January 2003.
The farm subsidies weren't the only payments her family benefited from either...
A construction company owned by GOP Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s father received more than $200,000 in county contracts while she served as auditor of Montgomery County, Iowa, despite a strict conflict of interest code governing the provision of contracts to family members of county officials.
To top it off a new review of records — as well as an analysis of the Code of Iowa — by Salon revealed that the nature of the contracts and how they were promulgated, may have violated relevant county standards!
So the next time you see Senator Joni Ernst regaling an audience with "stories" about the hardships she faced toiling away over a bucket of pig nuts and having bread bag shoes just remember one thing... it's only a story.