The line this a.m. on the talk shows was that Sen. Joni Ernst had avoided the curse of the State of the Union response speech and, while she did not ignite her tinder-dry base, at least avoided embarrassing herself.
The pundits spoke too soon. In fact, Ernst's lie about wearing breadbags over her one pair of shoes was subjected to merciless mockery by the leisured Democrats class, who noted that during Ernst's girlhood the president was not Franklin Roosevelt but -- wait for it! -- R. Reagan.
Few, if any of the mockers, though, had any experience of either living on a farm or living in Iowa during the Reagan paradise. So, as sometimes happens, instead of restating the obvious, I will have to reveal it, de novo as it were.
In fact, the Reagan years were terrible for Iowa farmers and the much more numerous members of the UAW, who were losing their jobs, homes, farms and, too often, their lives (by suicide) during those golden years. (It was a bad time, too, for slaughterhouse workers and residents of small towns generally. But it was a golden opportunity for the gaudier class of con artists. My favorite was the one who claimed to represent a Saudi shiekh who wished to give struggling Iowa farmers loans of a million dollars each -- which did not have to be repaid! -- and the con artist could arrange to deliver this loan for an upfront fee of only $30,000. A good many of those struggling farmers found the money even if they did not love their little girls enough to buy them shoes.)
So, I can believe that the Ernst family could have been under financial stress when she was a schoolgirl. But I cannot simultaneously believe she was also castrating pigs in her one pair of shoes, unless she was wearing bread bags then, too.
Ernst really did step in it. As one commenter said, everywhere she goes from now on, protesters in bread bags will follow.