The Meese That Roared


THE BROUHAHA over remarks made by Presidential Counselor Edwin Meese 3d to the effect that poor people are pretending to be hungry to get free food narrows considerably the list of groups that the Administration has yet to insult or alienate.

Speaking with reporters last week, Meese said that "some people are going to soup kitchens voluntarily. I know we've had considerable information that people go to soup kitchens because the food is free and that that's easier than paying for it."

Democratic party leaders dutifully pronounced their outrage at the latest Administration slur. But few even took the time to rebuke Meese with specifics. Most forgot to point out, for example, that some 20 million Americans depend on food stamps to eat and that tens of thousands more--who don't qualify for federal assistance thanks to the Administration's draconian eligibility requirements--have been forced into soup kitchens. But it must have been party politics that prevented Democrats from giving Reagan's men credit for being so egalitarian about whom they go about alienating.

At present count, environmentalists, Blacks, women, Jews, the disabled, gays, teenagers, Stanford University and pop stars have all been put in their proper place by vigilant administration watchdogs.

Though the list is endless, there are still a number of special interest groups that need to be told they are no better off than the rest of the country: WASPs, hispanics, Asian-Americans, football players, fire- and policemen, Harvard professors, Catholics, and rich Presbyterians.

We trust that the Administration will not let this discrepancy go unnoticed with less than a year remaining before the Presidential election.