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Who said it: A Republican congressman or a Christmas villain?

Can you tell the difference between Paul Ryan and Ebenezer Scrooge?

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- Commentary

There’s something familiar about the way the GOP talks about the poor. If you’ve been paying close attention to Republicans in the House and Senate, they may strike you as being eerily reminiscent of other curmudgeons we normally hear from this time of year—infamous villains like Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Between defenses of their ruthless attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and their ludicrous justifications for passing a bill that slashes taxes for the rich while hiking costs for the poor and middle classes, Republican politicians are sounding more and more like the grumpy, selfish antagonists from our favorite stories of the season.

Don’t believe it? Take this quiz to see if you can tell the difference between real people and fictional characters. Check your answers at the bottom.

When it comes to the poor, Mitch McConnell’s views are virtually the same as Mr. Potter’s from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Photo Credit: Liberty Films (Potter, left); Wikimedia Commons (McConnell, right)

1. “I am an old man and most people hate me. But I don’t like them either, so that makes it all even.”

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a) Mitch McConnell

b) Orrin Hatch

c) Mr. Potter (It’s a Wonderful Life)

2. “We don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people into complacency and dependence.”

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a) Paul Ryan

b) Ebenezer Scrooge

c) Mitch McConnell

3. “Are you running a business or a charity ward? Not with my money!”

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a) Paul Ryan

b) Mr. Potter

c) Sen. Chuck Grassley

4. “I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

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a) Sen. Chuck Grassley

b) The Grinch

c) Mr. Potter

5. “Oh, bleeding hearts of the world, unite!”

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a) The Grinch

b) Ebenezer Scrooge

c) Orrin Hatch

6. “Are there no prisons? And the union workhouses, are they still in operation? Those who are badly off must go there.”

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a) Mitch McConnell

b) Ebenezer Scrooge

c) The Grinch

7. “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything.”

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a) Mr. Potter

b) Paul Ryan

c) Orrin Hatch

8. “Those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

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a) Mr. Potter

b) Mo Brooks, Alabama congressman

c) Ebenezer Scrooge

9. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

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a) The Grinch

b) Ebenezer Scrooge

c) Paul Ryan

10. “Uh-huh. You see, if you shoot pool with some employee here, you can come and borrow money. What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class.”

a) Chuck Grassley

b) Paul Ryan

c) Mr. Potter

Key: 1:C, 2:A, 3:B, 4:A, 5:A, 6:B, 7:C, 8:B, 9:C, 10:C

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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