Friday, October 12, 2007

Republicans lack ideas-engage in character assassination

The New York Times' Paul Krugman has an excellent column on the Republican Party's vicious smear campaign against the twelve year old boy who gave the Democratic Party's response to President Bush's veto of Congress's bipartisan expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance program (SCHIP).

Frost relied on SCHIP after suffering severe head injuries in an automobile accident because his family did not have health insurance like 47 million other Americans.

Krugman writes:

...the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. If service members oppose a Republican war, they’re “phony soldiers”; if Michael J. Fox opposes Bush policy on stem cells, he’s faking his Parkinson’s symptoms; if an injured 12-year-old child makes the case for a government health insurance program, he’s a fraud.

Meanwhile, leading conservative politicians, far from trying to distance themselves from these smears, rush to embrace them. And some people in the news media are still willing to be used as patsies.

Politics aside, the Graeme Frost case demonstrates the true depth of the health care crisis: every other advanced country has universal health insurance, but in America, insurance is now out of reach for many hard-working families, even if they have incomes some might call middle-class.

And there’s one more point that should not be forgotten: ultimately, this isn’t about the Frost parents. It’s about Graeme Frost and his sister.

I don’t know about you, but I think American children who need medical care should get it, period. Even if you think adults have made bad choices — a baseless smear in the case of the Frosts, but put that on one side — only a truly vicious political movement would respond by punishing their injured children.

Here is the entire column.

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