Columnist Parodies Governor's Actions Toward Disability
August 4, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI--Tony Messenger, a columnist for the Columbia Tribune, recently wrote scathing columns criticizing Governor Matt Blunt for his handling of Medicaid in the state, and his treatment of disability advocates, whom Messenger refers to as "The Wheelchair People".
In a column published on August 2, Messenger wrote a parody, imagining Blunt reading a bedtime story entitled "The Tale of the Wheelchair People", in which the governor tries to change a "chilling time" in our nation's history "when we let disabled people have jobs, gave them access to decent health care and even, gasp, allowed them access to public meetings."
"It was a problem of horrible proportions. The governor knew from his upbringing that even The Wheelchair People had their place in society," Messenger's imaginary book read.
"In the name of protecting the children, he would save the state from The Wheelchair People. He would cut their funding so that the sidewalks of Missouri would once again be safe for good, hard-working people."
"And so he did."
"But The Wheelchair People revolted. They came to the Capitol and chained themselves to the building. They chanted and held signs and demanded they be treated like other citizens. The governor retreated to his mansion, ordered extra security and waited for the General Assembly to make the cuts he had suggested."
"Governors plan to avoid disabled turns to nightmare" (Columbia Tribune)
"State outsources Medicaid work to tiny town in northwest Montana" (Columbia Tribune)
Political cartoon -- July 29, 2005 (Kansas City Star)