Cresent Hardy Opens His Mouth, and you know the rest of the story

Hardy Quotations

A few more examples of the propensity of Nevada’s District 4 Congressional Representative to open his mouth and insert his foot, and we’ll have enough to publish at least a Kindle Single?  Yes, Cresent Hardy, newly elected Representative of District 4 has done it again.  (Those who would like a quick review of some of his previous hits should click over to Hardy’s Top Five.  DB had a “Cresent Hardy Retrospective” back in September 2014.)

So here we go, Rep. Cresent Hardy addressing a Libertarian function:

Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) said recently at a Libertarian Party event that he hoped his children would never be a “drain on society” like people who were disabled. In audio published this week by the Nevada State Democratic Party, Hardy can be heard speaking to attendees at the Libertarian Political Expo in Las Vegas.

“I have three children,” Hardy explains. “One of them is summa cum laude and two were magnum cum laude. The other one, he didn’t need an education. He works for Raytheon, smarter than all the rest. He works hard, he builds things that are genius. Some people have that ability.” “But they all work hard. They are raising their own families,” he continued. “They will not be a drain on society, the best they can. Hopefully they will never have some disability that causes them to have to utilize that.” [RawStory] [YouTubeNSDP]

The unspeakable “that” is most likely disability benefits? Unemployment insurance compensation?  Any program through which the American people demonstrate that they do, in fact, care about their neighbors?  And, what do we make of the conflation of “disabled” with “diseased?”  Disabled people are a “drain on society?”

Rep. Hardy evidently missed the 2007 DePaul University study which found

  • Employees with disabilities had nearly identical job performance ratings as employees without disabilities.
  • The amount of supervision required was similar for both groups.
  • Participants from certain sectors stayed on the job longer than their counterparts.
  • Very few special accommodations were provided to employees with disabilities, and the average cost of the accommodations was $313.

Hmm, nearly identical job performance (which could mean in some cases it was higher) the same amount of supervision, longer tenure with the company, and not all that much needed in terms of physical accommodations? Doesn’t sound like much of a drain to me. He must also have missed the information from the NCED that employed persons with a disability in Nevada were more likely to be self-employed.  The same pattern holds nationally, as reported by the Department of Labor for 2013.  10.9% of the disabled were self employed compared to 6.4% of the non-disabled. Those would be the same people we call “entrepreneurs,” maybe even “job creators?”

The Nevada State Democratic Party called for Rep. Hardy to apologize to disabled Nevadans, but I’d not want to hang by my hair for as long as that might take.

“If Cresent Hardy wants to talk about ‘drains on society,’ he should point a finger at his buddy, deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy, not disabled children,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson.  “Hardy has compared employment non-discrimination laws to ‘segregation,’ agreed with Mitt Romney that 47% of the American people are ‘freeloaders,’ and now called children with disabilities ‘drains on society.’  Cresent Hardy’s comments are outrageous and he owes an immediate apology to every Nevadan with a disability.”

In the narrow exclusive world of the Hardys and the Bundys, those numbers and statistical studies of the productivity of disabled persons don’t matter.  They don’t matter any more than the fact that as of the last DoL Report the unemployment rate for African Americans was 10.2% – meaning, of course, that 89.8% of African Americans in the civilian population labor force are WORKING.  In Hardy-Bundy Land those “Negroes sit on stoops…” and the disabled spend the day staring out of their institutional windows? This isn’t an informed view, it isn’t even a rational view, but it’s their world.

Their world isn’t a place where the family is pleased with the progress – sometimes even just a little progress – made by their child at the new Miller School in Las Vegas. Instead, this is a world in which those burdened are decried as a “burden on others,” as if spending any money on those whose physical or intellectual limitations is a “waste?”  Tell that to the parent of a child with multiple handicaps? Or, to the spouse of a disabled person?

Ask someone in the land of Hardy and Bundy about individual children, or individual families and generally the response we get is “I wasn’t talking about Them…”  The Hardy-Bundy Land “intended subject” is  nearly always some generalized, fanaticized, imaginary Other who “games the system” (recall Sharron Angle’s challenge to people with autistic children), or who “will never be productive,” (does it matter to the parents of a severely disabled child?) What does it mean for parents of a child with serious brain injury that the little one can recognize their faces and may even smile? When we start applying a Cost-Benefit Analysis on that, we’re cooked.

Yes, Representative Hardy does owe disabled Nevadans, and their families, an apology, or at least an explanation.  However, the best we can expect is the formulaic, “If I offended anyone I am sorry.”   The statement may also be pure Hardy, “I’m just not a good man with words.”  Here’s some unsolicited advice:  “A closed mouth gathers no foot.”

UPDATE: Please read the excellent post linked here concerning Representative Hardy’s hypocrisy on this subject.

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