The Republicans have never been, as George F. Will once noted, the “party of nice.” They are the party of efficiency and limited government, and if that means some people get their feelings hurt, well, then so be it.
They proved that amply this past weekend when they lit into Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old kid who, after a horrific auto accident, received SCHIP money to recover from his injuries and who gave the Democratic Party radio address to respond to President Bush’s promise to veto the bill. Rather than debate the merits of the bill itself and make their case for the president’s point of view, the right wing unleashed their attack dogs on Graeme Frost.
First they accused the family of not being really poor, that the Frost children go to private schools, and that they live in an upper-middle class neighborhood. ThinkProgress has the rebuttals; Graeme Frost is a scholarship student at one private school, and his sister attends another private school to help with the brain injuries she received in the accident and the state pays for it, and the Frost’s combined income is about $45,000.
When this reality struck the the righties, did they retreat? No, of course not. Michelle Malkin — Ann Coulter without the charm — stalked the family, interviewing neighbors and trying to get some dirt on the Frosts. When she didn’t get the answers she wanted, she accused the neighbors of lying and covering up tax fraud. And she accused the defenders of the Frosts of being “faux outraged leftists.” (As Thers notes at Whiskey Fire, “no, this is the genuine article.”) Mark Steyn at the Corner at NRO takes the tack that the Democrats should have known that the righties would attack.
Sorry, no sale. The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a Seventh Grader. If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man’s job, then the boy is fair game.
(Would it be too easy to reply that that reasoning would explain why the Republicans sent George W. Bush to the White House?) So when all of the anecdotes that the righties got all whooped up turned out to be bullshit, they still think that they were justified because, well, they’re righties and that’s what they do.
And in all this stench that they raise, they never make the case — as if there is one to be made — that the middle class should get ripped off by a health care system that works if you can afford health insurance or barely works if you are desperately poor. The people like the Frosts get screwed, but that’s okay with the righties because God forbid that a government program should be proven to be a success.
This also proves something I learned as a teacher: never pick a fight with a kid; even if you win, you lose.