And Another Thing

Not much new with the Frost kerfuffle, but there are two things worth discussing this morning:

1.) I have noticed a trend regarding those who think it was acceptable to savage this family, and it is best illustrated by a comment from Jay Caruso in the comments section:

I have to laugh at the irony of a bunch of nimrods blubbering like schoolgirls about the big mean Republicans, yet nobody seems to care that the Democrats chose to use this 12 year old boy as a political prop. And John, before you climbed out of your pod, you’d have been one of the first to hit the Democrats right between the eye for pulling a stunt like this.

They’re going to get their political mileage out of this, but guess what? If the program doesn’t change and this family doesn’t get covered, the same Democrats who weep for this poor family WON’T DO A FUCKING THING FOR THEM.

Once the tank runs dry on the political gas the Dems get out of this, they’ll say, “Who?” when asked about Graeme Frost afterwards.

So get the hell over yourselves.

Look, I can understand why you might be frustrated when you think the Democrats (or anyone, really) are using people as shields to promote policy. I remember a certain blogger who was livid that the Democrats seemed to be doing just that with a certain individual named Cindy Sheehan. I can understand why people would get frustrated if the Democrats put up a little boy who stated “Please don’t kill this bill or I will suffer.” It would be demagoguery and shameless and it would be hiding behind a kid.

But that isn’t what happened here. What happened here is that the Democrats chose someone who had been helped by the program, and they stood up and told people that it had helped them and an expansion might help others. I am not the brightest guy on the planet (entire websites exist to point this out), but even I figured this out. Hell, you might read what the kid said:

“Hi, my name is Graeme Frost. I’m 12 years old and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Most kids my age probably haven’t heard of CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But I know all about it, because if it weren’t for CHIP, I might not be here today.

“CHIP is a law the government made to help families like mine afford healthcare for their kids. Three years ago, my family was in a really bad car accident. My younger sister Gemma and I were both hurt. I was in a coma for a week and couldn’t eat or stand up or even talk at first. My sister was even worse. I was in the hospital for five-and-a-half months and I needed a big surgery. For a long time after that, I had to go to physical therapy after school to get stronger. But even though I was hurt badly, I was really lucky. My sister and I both were.

“My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but the hospital bills were huge. We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program.

“But there are millions of kids out there who don’t have CHIP, and they wouldn’t get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt. Their parents might have to sell their cars or their houses, or they might not be able to pay for hospital bills at all.

“Now I’m back to school. One of my vocal chords is paralyzed so I don’t talk the same way I used to. And I can’t walk or run as fast as I did. The doctors say I can’t play football any more, but I might still be able to be a coach. I’m just happy to be back with my friends.

“I don’t know why President Bush wants to stop kids who really need help from getting CHIP. All I know is I have some really good doctors. They took great care of me when I was sick, and I’m glad I could see them because of the Children’s Health Program.

“I just hope the President will listen to my story and help other kids to be as lucky as me. This is Graeme Frost, and this has been the Weekly Democratic Radio address. Thanks for listening.”

Got it? “This helped me, I want it to help others.” It wasn’t hiding behind a kid, it was the picture of advocacy by citizens who had been helped by a government program (Given the governance of the past few years, I will admit that it is entirely conceivable that a certain subset of those screeching are unaware that government programs are allowed to help people. Not all of them are designed to whisk people away to secret CIA facilities or read your email and listen to your phonecalls.).

It is, also, not the first time something like this has been done. By now you have heard of Noah McCullough, the nine year old who traveled with Bush to advocate on behalf of social security. Or the snowflake babies, on stage with Bush when he vetoed the stem-cell bill. My memory is not perfect, but I do not remember similar campaigns to viciously attack these kids and their families.

Aside from the disgusting nature of the attacks on the Frost family, this is one of the things that has many of us aghast. To what end are these Freepers and Malkinites and Corner readers attacking these people, as even if the Bush veto of the expansion holds, they are going to still qualify for the program? The inability to recognize this, and the instinctive need to just attack, attack, attack and smear, smear, smear is what has surprised me the most. This is not a policy dispute to these folks- this is tribalism, and something deeper and darker and more sinister. It was a mob whipped into a frenzy, a blind rage, and there was no point to it other than the rage itself.

Which, I suppose, was the point to these folks and their ringleaders. Which leads us to the second thing worth discussing this morning.

2.) Michelle Malkin, in a ranting, frothing, and incoherent screed that appears to have been co-written by Bill O’Reilly and the Unabomber, has, politely declined to debate Ezra Klein on the merits of SCHIP and other health initiatives:

On behalf of all liberal bloggers of purported good faith, the Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein has chivalrously stepped up to the plate to challenge me to a debate about S-CHIP.

I’m. Trrrrembling.

With. Laughter.

A good-faith debate would require that Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein actually be a person of good faith. He is treated as such in some elite conservative circles, where his work is linked frequently and intellectual repartee among the Beltway boys’ club is warm and chummy. He is free to continue traveling in those cozy circles where highbrow right-wingers are not so mean and scary.

But I’d just as soon share a stage, physical or virtual, with Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein as I would with Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera, or an overflowing vat of liquid radioactive waste.

***

Good faith, eh? What would Ezra Klein know about it?

Now, run along and thump your chest over your “victory” at BloggingHeadsTV or something.

I have to get back to work. You know, “stalking.” “Assault.” “Savagings.” “Howling. “Braying.” “Hateful orgies.”

That stuff.

It really speaks for itself, and is worthy of a chuckle or two as you re-read this Captain Ed post cautioning the right to bring this debate back to policy.

This never was about policy to Michelle and her net followers. This was about rage. This was about “us” versus “them” and “they” had to be destroyed because “they” are evil leftists who dared to challenge Bush. It was about fomenting anger, about whipping people up into a jealous rage- “LOOK AT THE BIG HOUSE THE FROST FAMILY HAS- WORTH A HALF A MILLION- AND THEY WANT YOU TO PAY FOR THEIR CHILDREN,” and then letting the mob do the rest. Goebbels truly would be proud.

But like all schoolyard bullies, when punched in the mouth, they back down. Given the chance to debate the policy she clearly feels so strongly about, Michelle wimped out. She turned her tails and fled. One could say she gave the French response.

I hope a lesson has been learned this week- when Malkin and her cohorts attack, you stiffen your spine, put on your hip waders to deal with their bullshit, and you throw it back in their face. Behind all that bluster, there really is not much there. Just scared, petty, loudmouth bullies.

*** Update ***

Alternate working title for this post: “Cheese Eating Surrender Malkin.”

*** Update #2 ***

This may be the greatest comment on the Malkin/Klein non-debate:

Malkin’s reply:

“Debate” Ezra Klein? What a perverse distraction and a laughable waste of time that would be. And that’s what they really want, isn’t it? To distract and waste time so they can foist their agenda on the country unimpeded.”

Yes, that was the plan. And now that she’s on to it, I might as well confess our scheme: Dispatch Klein to tie up Malkin for an hour or so, and while she’s distracted, push universal health insurance through Congress. Indeed, we’ve used similar tactics in the past, such as 1993, when we passed the Clinton tax hike after luring Rush Limbaugh to an all-you-can-eat buffet for much of the afternoon. Next time we’ll have to be even smarter.

Heh.

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147 replies
  1. 1
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Well said. Even Heisenberg himself couldn’t deny the absolute certainty that the wingnut outrage machine would’ve snarled and smeared anyone who spoke in apparent disagreement with their cult-leader, whether 12 years old or 80, just as they have smeared Gold Star Mother “cunts,” combat veteran “phony soldiers,” decorated Marine “traitors,” and so on. It’s never about policy. It’s always about the enemy who lives in the house next door.

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    Wait…

    Malkin acknowledges that Ezra is considered “good faith” in many circles, calls him (derisively) “respectable”, but then goes on to say he’s not respectable or “in good faith”?

    I’ve never had any respect for Michelle, but this is just incredible. Nice bully analogy Johnny; it’s dead on.

    Taunt, tease, repeat. Until the victim stands up and throws a punch, at which point they run away crying. Incredible

  3. 3
    Ugh says:

    She really could be the most self-unaware person on the planet. As if anything she’s done with respect to this story was done in “good-faith.”

    I mean, it really is sad. I almost pity her. She needs therapy.

  4. 4
    David Hasselhoff Built My Hotrod says:

    Anchor Baby

  5. 5
    cd6 says:

    The wingnuts frequently complain about all the profanity that left wingers use, but that shit sounds a lot better than the psuedo baby talk Malkin and peppered her post with.

    “I’m. Trrrrembling. With. Laughter.”? I mean, is this shit serious? That’s the kind of thing you say if you’re confident you will destroy Ezra in the debate, not if you’re about to cowardly decline 1500 words later. Then she talks about flinging pees or some stupid shit. How is she one of the highest visited blogs on the right? They can’t do better than this?

    Moving on, I sum up the whole SCHIP debate thusly:

    In the wild, there is no health care. In the wild, health care is, ‘Ow, I hurt my leg. I can’t run. A lion eats me. I’m dead.’ Well, I’m not dead. I’m the lion. You’re dead.

  6. 6
    PaulW says:

    If the “stand up to the bullies” analogy is so apt, why isn’t anyone taking these lying sonsofbitches to court? Nearly everything the rightwingnuts said about the Frosts turns out to be lies (slander); nearly everything the rightwingnuts did about the Frosts appears to be harassment (stalking, intimidation, terror tactics). If Malkin and her ilk pulled this crap on me, I’d be dragging their sorry asses into court. Why aren’t the Frosts doing that themselves?

  7. 7

    Malkin, like Limbaugh and O’Reilly, really want nothing to do with debate. All of the ranting is aimed at their constituents and nothing more. Indeed, I read Malkin’s post this morning and a few of the comments left by the adoring masses. They were quite impressed. Me, not so much.

  8. 8
    Wilfred says:

    You go after a kid, you’re a scumbag. Period. But why not go after notorious IslamoFascistLovingCommiePinkoTraitor Andrew Bacevich, who rakes St. David Petraeus over the coals (a site pun waiting to be born)here:

    http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_10_08/cover.html

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    A good-faith debate would require that Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein actually be a person of good faith. He is treated as such in some elite conservative circles, where his work is linked frequently and intellectual repartee among the Beltway boys’ club is warm and chummy. He is free to continue traveling in those cozy circles where highbrow right-wingers are not so mean and scary.

    So, let me get this straight. Michelle’s argument is that she’d happily have a civilized debate, but liberals are too uncivilized, and she’s involuntarily forced into smearing and pathologically lying about the Frosts’.

    When offered to a civilized debate, she declines. Why? Because liberals are apparently physically incapable of having a civilized debate.

    But I’d just as soon share a stage, physical or virtual, with Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein as I would with Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera, or an overflowing vat of liquid radioactive waste.

    Doesn’t Bill O’ have Rivera on his show, like, every other day?

  10. 10
    RSA says:

    He is free to continue traveling in those cozy circles where highbrow right-wingers are not so mean and scary.

    I like this self-serving implication that Malkin herself is a highbrow right-winger, just not in Klein’s cozy circles. Her writing speaks for itself.

  11. 11
    Krista says:

    And her fans are going wild, congratulating her for not lowering herself to actually debate with Ezra, because those kinds of people should be villified and mocked instead.

    No, I’m not kidding. One actually said something along the lines of the eagle not stooping to battle the fly, or something equally absurd.

    Teh stupid hurts, but at least it’s amusing. Teh crazy, though? I really fear for you guys. There are a lot of seriously mean, hateful, people out there. And they’re nuts! They’re saying shit like, “Well, I had two kids and I went without food, shoes and toilet paper so that I could afford health insurance for my kids. I probably would have qualified for a government program, but knew that I had to be responsible for myself.”

    Um…koo-koo! So you’re PROUD of the fact that you had to choose between basic necessities and health insurance? People are actually deriving this bizarre, masochistic pleasure from one-upping each other on how much they’ve had to sacrifice and give up in order to pay their insurance premiums. “Well, I had a dream of owning my own business, but I gave up that dream and took a job that I hate so that I could get health coverage for my family!” Um….yeah….good for you? Yay, America?

    Sick.

  12. 12
    Attaturk says:

    And today, as the irony power of being an asshole continues, Malkin gets an Op-Ed attacking the Frosts (with all the disproved bullshit included) published in the NY Post.

  13. 13

    It’s a shame Graeme Frost didn’t jump out the window of a burning skyscraper. Malkin would be posting pictures of that every day.

    Not that it would be a political prop, of course.

  14. 14
    joeadams says:

    Hey, I just won 100 bucks! I bet a malkin follower in my office that she would find some excuse not to debate him, knowing as she does that Klein would run intellectual circles around her. I didn’t think i would win the money so quickly! Mom always told me that the angriest people were also the biggest cowards. Thanks Mom!

  15. 15
    Davis X. Machina says:

    And her fans are going wild, congratulating her for not lowering herself to actually debate with Ezra, because those kinds of people should be vilified and mocked instead.

    Are they still teaching “When you have the facts, hammer on the facts. When you have the law, hammer on the law. When you don’t have the facts or the law, hammer on the table” in law school?

    Because that rule still seems to be in force in certain circles. The rhetoric of a three-year-old, with a wooden spoon and a saucepan.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    Are they still teaching “When you have the facts, hammer on the facts. When you have the law, hammer on the law. When you don’t have the facts or the law, hammer on the table” in law school?

    They’ve had some cutbacks, so its really down to just hammering on the table now. I’ve yet to see any facts, or law, that could have played into this case. I know they exist – they always freak’n exist – but the Malkinites are too busy pricing granite counter tops and school education expenses to do the leg work. That’s journalism, folks.

  17. 17

    […] Also, John Cole is again making sense: But like all schoolyard bullies, when punched in the mouth, they back down. Given the chance to debate the policy she clearly feels so strongly about, Michelle wimped out. She turned her tails and fled. One could say she gave the French response. […]

  18. 18
    Llelldorin says:

    Um…koo-koo! So you’re PROUD of the fact that you had to choose between basic necessities and health insurance? People are actually deriving this bizarre, masochistic pleasure from one-upping each other on how much they’ve had to sacrifice and give up in order to pay their insurance premiums. “Well, I had a dream of owning my own business, but I gave up that dream and took a job that I hate so that I could get health coverage for my family!” Um….yeah….good for you? Yay, America?

    Yes. Exactly. Because the very, very last thing that a market economy should ever, ever do is encourage taking risks with capital. I mean, in a socialist economy people are encouraged to start small buisnesses, secure in the knowledge that failure can be a learning experience. But here in America? We know that if you take risks, you should risk being forced to sell everything you own and go homeless on the street if your kids get hurt in an auto accident. That’s the American Way!

    It’s just bizarre watching the right wing take all their uplifting rhetoric about the market economy and reverse it on a dime to nuke a working poor family that’s annoyed them.

  19. 19
    Jon H says:

    Little known fact: the word “Republican” means “submission”

    That’s why they’re going after the Frosts like a Saudi morals police squad hunting a woman seen without a headscarf.

  20. 20
    Krista says:

    Well, Time has picked up the story, and it also debunks a lot of the stupid myths that have been going around. More proof of the left-wing media bias, we’ll no doubt hear.

  21. 21
    Nikki says:

    Wow. Just read your excellent post, John. Now I think I need a cigarette.

  22. 22
    thalarctos says:

    Your commenter opines:

    And John, before you climbed out of your pod, you’d have been one of the first to hit the Democrats right between the eye for pulling a stunt like this.

    Somehow, the stupid git can’t–or won’t–comprehend the difference between hitting the Democrats and hitting a kid.

    (And “right between the eye”? I didn’t know Cyclops was a Democrat…)

  23. 23
    AJStrata says:

    John,

    I suspect you are getting the back door emails I am getting from the reactionaries on the right as well. It seems pointing out their mistakes is an insult and beyond the pale. It is getting ugly – which should be a sign to the people they are out of control. I am concerned what the Frost family is experiencing from some of these people.

    I applaud your stance on this. And again I welcome you to the land of the non-aligned independents.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  24. 24

    […] Update: Maybe it’s the zeal of the newly-converted, or the newly unconverted, I don’t know. But as mentioned previously, John Cole has been on fire about this issue this week – and here we have some more: Aside from the disgusting nature of the attacks on the Frost family, this is one of the things that has many of us aghast. To what end are these Freepers and Malkinites and Corner readers attacking these people, as even if the Bush veto of the expansion holds, they are going to still qualify for the program? The inability to recognize this, and the instinctive need to just attack, attack, attack and smear, smear, smear is what has surprised me the most. This is not a policy dispute to these folks- this is tribalism, and something deeper and darker and more sinister. It was a mob whipped into a frenzy, a blind rage, and there was no point to it other than the rage itself. […]

  25. 25
    Krista says:

    AJ’s right. According to that Time article, the Frost family has been receiving some pretty nasty emails, phone calls and letters. And yet, Michelle and her flying monkeys still protest, “Attacked? Nobody’s attacking this family! We’re just asking a few little questions!”

  26. 26
    Mr. Moderate says:

    AMEN!

  27. 27
    John Cole says:

    I suspect you are getting the back door emails I am getting from the reactionaries on the right as well. It seems pointing out their mistakes is an insult and beyond the pale. It is getting ugly – which should be a sign to the people they are out of control. I am concerned what the Frost family is experiencing from some of these people.

    Nah, I don’t get much hate mail anymore. I got a lot during the torture and Schiavo debates, but not so much anymore. I think they have given up on me. I would wager that you are getting a ton of it. You will know when Goldstein starts catcalling you an “honest conservative” that the love affair is finally over.

    But I don’t get much nasty email anymore, which upsets me, because I have so few opportunities to spread my favorite website (NSFW-loud obscenities).

    At any rate, if you keep it up, you might even get some minions. I have a couple who pop up in the comments every now and then.

  28. 28
    jnfr says:

    It’s funny that she mentions Chris Matthews as one of those she would never appear with. I don’t think she’s been invited back to Hardball since Matthews mopped the floor with her over her Kerry smears during the last Presidential election.

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    I would SO mass debate Shelly Malkin.

  30. 30
    zzyzx says:

    I posted this on another thread but I’m so depressed at my sudden change in fortune, that I’m putting it here too.

    Bad news, according to National Review we’re not rich anymore:

    Republicans need to launch an aggressive middle-class tax offensive.

    For example, we don’t need six income-tax brackets. Here’s a thought: Take the 33 percent bracket that starts at $188,450 and get rid of it.

    So apparently people who make over 200k a year are middle class. It’s amazing how quickly inflation kicked in.

  31. 31
    RSA says:

    It’s just bizarre watching the right wing take all their uplifting rhetoric about the market economy and reverse it on a dime to nuke a working poor family that’s annoyed them.

    I think the reversal is purely about rhetoric rather than reality. In a market economy, in which people take risks, some people don’t succeed. I think the rightwingers’ view is that those people should just suck it up in private, so that no one needs to think about that part of the big picture. I was once having an online conversation with a conservative/libertarian who asked me, “Why do you care so much about poor people?” I didn’t respond, but I did think, “It’s a human thing–you wouldn’t understand.”

  32. 32
    RSA says:

    So apparently people who make over 200k a year are middle class. It’s amazing how quickly inflation kicked in.

    It only applies on the upper side of the income scale. On the lower side, owning a television set and living with air-conditioning qualifies you for the middle class, too.

  33. 33
    whipporwill says:

    Jay Caruso, where are you. You were so full of salt and vinegar earlier this morning. Now I fear you’ve gone and done a Malkin on us and just wimped out.

  34. 34
    canuckistani says:

    I’m too proud to actually go to her website, but is anyone in her comment field making BAWK-BAWK-BAKAW chicken noises? Just curious.
    Ourstanding work, John.

  35. 35
    tBone says:

    “Well, I had a dream of owning my own business, but I gave up that dream and took a job that I hate and sold all of my worldly possessions and a few of my less important organs so that I could get health coverage for my family!”.

    Sometimes we have to make choices in life. Freedom isn’t free, moonbat.

  36. 36
    Punchy says:

    Moonbats! This is all the Democrats fault! Even CNN says so

  37. 37
    AJStrata says:

    Yeah, the honeymoon is over it seems. Not that I am tore up about it. It is interesting to get more kudos from the left than the right for once.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  38. 38
    Librarian says:

    What’s next? Is the right going to do the same thing to all those kids who appear in those pro-SCHIP commercials being run by the drug industry?

  39. 39
    zzyzx says:

    AJ – you might want to change the , in your entry for “Website” into a . ; right now it takes you to “http://www,strata-sphere.com”

  40. 40
    Not the Senator says:

    This is beyond the pale and reminds me of the Terry Schiavo affair and the attacks on her husband.

    The modern use of civilian surrogates to press political points was started by Ronald Reagan and his State of the Union guests. There are multiple examples; as mentioned, Republicans used them in the Snowflake babies, when Ashley Faulkner whose mother died in 9/11 was used in the Bush 2004 ads and the Republican advertising against Social Security used a child spokesperson.

    Can you tell me where the left launched any similar investigations and personal attacks against these spokespeople? Spokespeople who were civilian non-politicians and just provided an example to humanize the issue?

    You should take a look at Malkin’s refusal to debate the SCHIP issue with Ezra Klein. You can argue the issue without the personal attacks but she has absolutely no interest in doing that. That would compromise the village mob mentality that the right so carefully nurtures. This is how the Malkins, Limbaughs, O’Reillys and Becks make their living. Unfortunately, someone innocent usually pays when the mob is on the rampage.

  41. 41
    Jay says:

    I have noticed a trend regarding those who think it was acceptable to savage this family

    John, John, John. I don’t think it is acceptable to ‘savage’ the family. My viewpoint is pretty much consistent with Captain Ed’s.

    But that isn’t what happened here. What happened here is that the Democrats chose someone who had been helped by the program, and they stood up and told people that it had helped them and an expansion might help others.

    Sorry John. No matter how you slice it, the Democrats resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery on the issue. And since S-CHIP is a means tested program, then things like assets, income and lifestyle choices come into play. Attacking the families motives and the value of their house and that their kids attend private schools is way out of line. I don’t disagree with that. But let’s not pretend that the Democrats didn’t exploit this kid for their political gain.

    Got it? “This helped me, I want it to help others.” It wasn’t hiding behind a kid, it was the picture of advocacy by citizens who had been helped by a government program

    Except it wasn’t citizens buying air time on a radio show to advocate for the expansion of the program. It was the Weekly Democratic Radio address. It was done in a way to appeal to nothing but emotions and has nothing to do with policy. It doesn’t justify the kind of increase in the program they were looking for. In short, the Democrats sent a 12 year old to fight their battles.

    Why should a program that already seems to have serious issues (I didn’t realize that 24 year old childless adults were now ‘children’) just be expanded at the expense of kids less fortunate than those who already qualify for S-CHIP?

    As for “Bush did it too”, it’s not a valid defense as I have pointed out elsewhere.

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    And since S-CHIP is a means tested program, then things like assets, income and lifestyle choices come into play.

    BZZZT. Wrong. Ten yard penalty and loss of down.

  43. 43
    over_educated says:

    ” It doesn’t justify the kind of increase in the program they were looking for. In short, the Democrats sent a 12 year old to fight their battles.”

    Ergo, it is acceptable to trash said 12 year old and family?

    I don’t think john is arguing about the validity of SCHIP expansion (which I am pretty sure he did not support by the way). He (and the rest of us) are angry that the REpublicans think the best way to argue against this bill is to try to slime a 12-year old boy who was in a serious car accident (and his family), usually incorrectly.

  44. 44
    El Cid says:

    When a younger co-worker expressed appreciation for having received a state scholarship which allowed him to go to college, I immediately began sneaking around his house and checking his grandparents’ trash and mailing letters to Republican leaders with this evidence in order to stop those liberal socialists from hiding behind his comments.

  45. 45
    ThymeZone says:

    The right’s meltdown over this was predictable, I think, and I also think it shows us what 2008 is going to look like. A president with no popular support outside his crazy base vetoes a kids’ health bill … vetoes it with swagger, even … and the noise factory is shocked to find out that their schtick isn’t working any more. So they crank up the volume.

    The whole thing would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that this is a microstorm in the middle of a much bigger, and real crisis …. the healthcare access/cost crisis. And if it weren’t for the fact that the swaggering veto-er, who never managed to veto a spending bill passed by an out-of-control GOP congress, is also pouring zillions into a useless war that is despised by almost every non-kool-aid drinking American. Kids will go without medical care while dollars are sucked into the Middle East faster than Noo Noo can suck up the tubby custard. Welcome to the Republican World of smaller government.

    There isn’t enough popcorn in the world to get us through watching this episode.

  46. 46
    DougJ says:

    Holy shit, CNN says the whole thing is the Democrats’ fault!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wish I could tell you I was kidding.

  47. 47
    John Cole says:

    When a younger co-worker expressed appreciation for having received a state scholarship which allowed him to go to college, I immediately began sneaking around his house and checking his grandparents’ trash and mailing letters to Republican leaders with this evidence in order to stop those liberal socialists from hiding behind his comments.

    As a true patriot would. Otherwise the Islamofascists will force us to wear burkhas.

    Wait a minute, I might be mixing up my talking points. Lemme get back to you after Rush.

  48. 48
    jcricket says:

    I hope a lesson has been learned this week- when Malkin and her cohorts attack, you stiffen your spine, put on your hip waders to deal with their bullshit, and you throw it back in their face. Behind all that bluster, there really is not much there. Just scared, petty, loudmouth bullies.

    John’s last point is his most important. Not a single thing Republicans say should be accepted at face value. Not their “concern trolling”, statements of “facts”, baseless smears, attacks, etc. Everything should be thrown back at them, because it’s almost all lies, distortions and propaganda. And when it’s thrown back in their face, they’ll resort to even dirtier tricks, so just keep at it.

    They’ll either fold (a la Malkin), sound the retreat (Captain Ed) or just move on to something else (Limbaugh is a classic example of this).

    The American public is capable of getting it. Maybe not if you come back with weak/wishy-washy counter-arguments, but if you stick to your guns, they will support you. Especially now that all Republicans have is attack, stalk, destroy and terrorize (maybe shred too).

    The stronger the display of convictions from the Democrats, the more the American public will realize that Democratic party already represents what the public believes in. There’s no need for the Dems to change policy. Concern trolls and Republican candidates who argue the Dems are too far left for the “mainstream” are just projecting their own fears (they’re too far right).

  49. 49
    John D. says:

    Sorry John. No matter how you slice it, the Democrats resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery on the issue. And since S-CHIP is a means tested program, then things like assets, income and lifestyle choices come into play. Attacking the families motives and the value of their house and that their kids attend private schools is way out of line. I don’t disagree with that. But let’s not pretend that the Democrats didn’t exploit this kid for their political gain.

    Demagoguery?

    Are you high?

    The Frost family is evidence of a gov’t program in action. The kid’s statement was primarily a recital of FACTS.

    Hi, my name is Graeme Frost. I’m 12 years old and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. […]

    CHIP is a law the government made to help families like mine afford healthcare for their kids. Three years ago, my family was in a really bad car accident. My younger sister Gemma and I were both hurt. I was in a coma for a week and couldn’t eat or stand up or even talk at first. My sister was even worse. I was in the hospital for five-and-a-half months and I needed a big surgery. […]

    My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but the hospital bills were huge. We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program.

    But there are millions of kids out there who don’t have CHIP, and they wouldn’t get the care that my sister and I did if they got hurt. […]

    Now I’m back to school. One of my vocal chords is paralyzed so I don’t talk the same way I used to. And I can’t walk or run as fast as I did. The doctors say I can’t play football any more, but I might still be able to be a coach. I’m just happy to be back with my friends.

    If you do not use a real-life example like this in an argument, you deserve to lose the argument. Or are you seriously saying that “Here’s a person who has been through this program” should be out of bounds in these things?

    If so, fuck off. I didn’t open my mouth on the snowflake baby issue for the same reason (when Bush used those kids as props), and THAT affected

  50. 50
    scarshapedstar says:

    These stupid shits can’t understand the difference between “I need SCHIP or I’m gonna die!” and “I woulda died were it not for SCHIP!”

    The difference is that one is blackmail. The other is fact.

    Funny how your modern Republicans can’t tell the difference.

  51. 51
    Xanthippas says:

    No matter how you slice it, the Democrats resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery on the issue.

    Let’s see…Democrats letting a kid give their radio address to talk about how a program they support helped him.

    vs.

    Hitler, blaming Germany’s decline on the Jews.

    Yes, they are one and the same.

    Try not to be so over-the-top, okay? What made the right-wingers so mad is that they think it’s “unfair” for Democrats to get up there and demonstrate that actual people are actually hurt by Bush’s ridiculous veto, because it’s so damn convincing to the average American and because they don’t really have any great response to that. So right-wingers responded instead by making the kid and his family “fair game”, only to end up helping Democrats demonstrate the point that people who are otherwise doing okay might still need help with medical expenses AND that right-wingers are basically mean-spirited, small-minded and petty. And now they’re all mad about that. But they only did that to themselves.

  52. 52
    John D. says:

    Bah, stupid <.

    If so, fuck off. I didn’t open my mouth on the snowflake baby issue for the same reason (when Bush used those kids as props), and THAT affected < .001% of the kids that S-CHIP does. And if you are seriously arguing that this is out-of-bounds, I expect to see your essay from a few years back accusing Bush of “engaging in the worst kind of demagoguery”.

  53. 53
    Zifnab says:

    Why should a program that already seems to have serious issues (I didn’t realize that 24 year old childless adults were now ‘children’) just be expanded at the expense of kids less fortunate than those who already qualify for S-CHIP?

    24-year-old adult students. Basically, the same requirements to determine whether you can be claimed as a qualifying child on a US tax return are used to determine whether you are eligible for SCHIP. How brutally unfair.

    And, once again, you play the “why aren’t we helping less fortunate children?” card without ever laying out how to help these people. The SCHIP program gives priority to lower income individuals, so if you come from a $25k household and your neighbor comes from a $45k income household, all else being equal, you get priority given limited SCHIP funds.

    This isn’t about “helping the less fortunate” it’s about killing a functional government program, the same way Republicans want to kill Social Security, Medicaid, and public education. Vilify a system that’s been a roaring success. Then replace it with Bush-style corporate crap – the same crap that gave us the Katrina boondoggle, the Iraq Contractors scandals, illegal VoterID laws, unfunded NCLB, Terri Shavio legislation, Medicare Plan D, and a host of other failed Republican programs.

    The Frosts were perfectly eligible for CHIP, and you know it. That’s not even up for debate. But the program is so good that the only avenue of attack against it is outright lies and perverse distortions of fact – granite concrete counter tops, fictitious housing prices, guesstimated costs of education, wild speculation on how Mr Frost could have obtained insurance outside the program, baseless attacks on the integrity of the family. All these lies and meaningless speculations are used as an argument not merely to deny expansion of the overwhelmingly supported program, but to justify killing SCHIP entirely. It’s bullshit, and everyone not eyeball deep in Malkinland knows it.

    Wait for November ’08. Get ready to reap the whirlwind.

  54. 54
    Librarian says:

    John’s last point is his most important. Not a single thing Republicans say should be accepted at face value. Not their “concern trolling”, statements of “facts”, baseless smears, attacks, etc. Everything should be thrown back at them, because it’s almost all lies, distortions and propaganda. And when it’s thrown back in their face, they’ll resort to even dirtier tricks, so just keep at it.

    Yes, and that includes every David Brooks column. Every single column he writes serves the right wing interest- even the ones that on the surface are not about politics. It drives me crazy when I see LTTEs in the NYT saying, “Brooks was right this time.” He is never right.

  55. 55
    RSA says:

    No matter how you slice it, the Democrats resorted to the worst kind of demagoguery on the issue.

    Um, no. The worst kind of demagoguery would be, “If President Bush vetoes this bill, the terrorists will have won.” Unfortunately, the second part of that sentence is pretty familiar.

  56. 56
    jcricket says:

    There isn’t enough popcorn in the world to get us through watching this episode.

    I think I ODed on the farm-bill-supported cheap popcorn a while ago. Got the big “C” from all that microwave popcorn the bush administration’s scandals forced me to eat.

    Holy shit, CNN says the whole thing is the Democrats’ fault

    I wish I could tell you I was kidding.

    I used to get really annoyed at the whole single-mindedness of Bob Somersby, but you have to admit he’s right. The press loves to lap up the right-wing framing of situations. Bob clearly demonstrated how this worked against Gore, and then against Kerry. My only fear is, despite all our progress and the facts (the vast majority of Americans are against the war, in favor of the Democratic positions on healthcare, the economy, crime, drugs, etc.), the same thing will keep happening.

    I think it’s great the Democrats are finally realizing they need to field someone in every contest (national, state + local). But they also need to get on the stick with “working the media” – it’s just required these days, and it’s a big hole.

    John – Speaking of Bob being right, and John Cole admitting Dave Neiwart was right on topic – we should have a thread with all the people we thought were too hyperbolic but turned out to be right on target.

  57. 57
    LnGrrrR says:

    Canuckistani,

    Of course not. That would involve applying something other than leader-worship thinking.

  58. 58
    Punchy says:

    But let’s not pretend that the Democrats didn’t exploit this kid for their political gain

    Fuckin moron. It’s a program TO HELP POOR KIDS. Why the fuck wouldn’t you use a kid to highlight the positive aspects of the program????

    Subway used Fat Jared to highlight their lo-cal subs, and Jessica Simpson is the spokesperson for an acne med. To pimp a product, you find a person helped by it. Not some adult actor guy in LA who cant even spell S-CHIP.

  59. 59
    jcricket says:

    Yes, and that includes every David Brooks column.

    I second that. I mentioned this on another thread, but I heard him speak about 3 years ago (back when Bush was doing “swimmingly”). His concern-trolling for Democrats was obvious then. He “longed for a return to Clinton-style centrism by the Democrats”. Of course he’s not singing that tune now, with Hillary the clear front-runner.

    Let’s not forget the the fact that suburban and “exurban” voters are now trending solidly Democratic – refuting Brooks’ core beliefs/statements over the years.

    Brooks reminds me of the right-wing version of those imitation NPR people in that skit on SNL. They speak in soft tones so it sounds good, but you realize they’re talking about sweaty balls after a while.

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    PaulW wrote,

    If the “stand up to the bullies” analogy is so apt, why isn’t anyone taking these lying sonsofbitches to court? Nearly everything the rightwingnuts said about the Frosts turns out to be lies (slander); nearly everything the rightwingnuts did about the Frosts appears to be harassment (stalking, intimidation, terror tactics).

    I don’t know about the harassment aspect, but as for the slander (actually, it’s probably libel, right?), the Frosts are probably considered public figures, and as such, the bar they’d have to clear to win a lawsuit is extremely high (in the US).

  61. 61
    jcricket says:

    Fuckin moron. It’s a program TO HELP POOR KIDS. Why the fuck wouldn’t you use a kid to highlight the positive aspects of the program????

    What Republicans need is a couple of random middle-aged actors to oppose S-CHIP. Including one that will accuse people of betraying Jesus, in Aramaic.

    That’s the ticket, yeah.

    For those that don’t remember, Republicans put together a political ad with baseball players Jeff Suppan and Mike Sweeney, and actors Patricia Heaton and Jim Caviezel to oppose the stem-cell funding expansion in Missouri supported by Michael J Fox – someone who/with a condition that might be directly helped by the research. Real winning strategy.

    I for one support the Republicans continued insistence on opposing life saving research, any kind of environmental/evolutionary science, the expansion of healthcare coverage for poor/sick children, etc. I see all of those as highlighting the clear differences between the parties.

  62. 62

    […] John Cole (emphasis added): I can understand why people would get frustrated if the Democrats put up a little boy who stated “Please don’t kill this bill or I will suffer.” It would be demagoguery and shameless and it would be hiding behind a kid. […]

  63. 63

    […] John Cole (emphasis added): I can understand why people would get frustrated if the Democrats put up a little boy who stated “Please don’t kill this bill or I will suffer.” It would be demagoguery and shameless and it would be hiding behind a kid. […]

  64. 64
    tBone says:

    I didn’t open my mouth on the snowflake baby issue for the same reason (when Bush used those kids as props), and THAT affected

    I think those so-called “snowflake” babies need to be investigated. Frankly, I have my doubts about that whole story. Who’s to say that those kids weren’t simply purchased from black market child-smuggling rings?

    Where are the brave Malkinesque journalists who will find out where those parents live and dig through their trash, looking for adoption papers? What brave truth-seeker will talk to the neighbors to see if they can dish up any dirt? What noble investigator will round up the children and subject them to a battery of invasive tests to verify that they are, in fact, formerly frozen embryos?

    In short, where have all the true journalists gone??

  65. 65
    tBone says:

    Goddamn blockquote tags.

  66. 66
    AJStrata says:

    fixing my url!

  67. 67
    Fledermaus says:

    But let’s not pretend that the Democrats didn’t exploit this kid for their political gain.

    Damn, you caught us. Well since we’re cause might as well fess up, like the vilian at the end of every scoopy doo episode. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros and Michael Moore all kidnapped this kid and sent him overseas to Gitmo where they waterboarded him, kept him in a 50 degree cell and repeatedly interrorgated him with questions like “you like having helth insurance” “you love S-CHIP” then we strapped him down and proped his eyes open, Clockwork Orange-style, and made him watch “Sicko” over and over.

    The whole process took about 3 months. But our success cannot be denied. Now he is completely brainwashed into believing that health insuance is a good thing. With his help we could have gotten health insurance for the 45 million people in the county who lack it. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you pesky kids!

  68. 68

    […] October 11th, 2007 Ann Coulter’s Mini-Me scuttles away when challenged to an actual debate about the S-CHIP program, as opposed to slurring a 12-year-old and picking through his family’s garbage. Other wingerbloggers lay down a methane smokescreen to cover Mini-Malk’s tracks, but John Cole disperses it quite handily.  Posted by stevenhart Filed in Uncategorized […]

  69. 69
    Jay says:

    24-year-old adult students.

    Yeah. I’m sure they were all students.

    The SCHIP program gives priority to lower income individuals, so if you come from a $25k household and your neighbor comes from a $45k income household, all else being equal, you get priority given limited SCHIP funds.

    Limited funds? The states that go over their allotments are just handed the extra money by Congress like a kid asking for more money from Dad after he’s blown his allowance.

    This isn’t about “helping the less fortunate” it’s about killing a functional government program, the same way Republicans want to kill Social Security, Medicaid, and public education.

    Oh please. Go easy on the hyperbole as people might get weepy. Nobody’s trying to “kill” the program. In fact, it wouldn’t take but a few hours to craft a bill that would allow the program to continue as is and take up the expansion separately.

    Um, no. The worst kind of demagoguery would be, “If President Bush vetoes this bill, the terrorists will have won.”

    Well, actually Patrick Kennedy claimed Bush’s veto was “terrorism against families.”

  70. 70
    Jon H says:

    ” we should have a thread with all the people we thought were too hyperbolic but turned out to be right on target.”

    Dear God I hope that list does not someday include David Icke.

  71. 71

    The issue at stake here is whether or not there should means testing for subsidies. The state of Maryland effectively subsidized the Frosts commercial real estate investment. If they’re meant to be representative recipients of the program, then it’s a program that subsidizes middle class risk. And maybe that’s not a program that taxpayers really want to fund.

    Using the 12 year old child as a distraction is inexcusable. On both sides.

  72. 72
    gypsy howell says:

    Frosts are probably considered public figures, and as such, the bar they’d have to clear to win a lawsuit is extremely high (in the US).

    Plus, it seems the Frosts probably have enough problems in their lives without willingly submitting themselves to our “justice” system.

  73. 73
    Punchy says:

    Limited funds? The states that go over their allotments are just handed the extra money by Congress like a kid asking for more money from Dad after he’s blown his allowance.

    When you’re Pet President has found a way to blow HALF A TRILL in one still-fucked-up country, and outright lose 9 bill (and absolutely no desire to find it), you really need to STFU about money going places it doesn’t belong.

    You’re the same clown that tips $2 on a $200 bill at a fancy 5-star steakhouse, cuz you “need to save money”.

  74. 74

    Oh dear, the Malkinites are back.

    I thought they didn’t want to debate the merits of this program? They so bravely ran away from Ezra.

  75. 75
    El Cid says:

    A friend of mine who was in a serious car accident expressed gratitude that he had worn his seatbelt, and that it had saved his life, and he didn’t used to wear it until click-it-or-ticket rules were enforced by cops.

    I will begin photographing the contents of his glove-box, interviewing everyone who has worked on the vehicle, and demand the reporting police officer turn over all the records of the accident.

    I will not allow big government regulators to hide behind his claims.

  76. 76

    Just so people understand… SCHIP is a program to help lower middle class kids. Poor kids are covered by Medicaid.

  77. 77
    John Cole says:

    Using the 12 year old child as a distraction is inexcusable. On both sides.

    Patrick, I read your take here, and I couldn’t disagree more. Were they using this kid as a shield, I would agree it was inexcusable. but as it is clear they were not, the venom and vitriole launched at this family are simply out of line.

    I am too tired to even go into the “choices” crap you regurgitate from Tapscott, and I am not sure it even applies to the Frost’s as no one has demonstrated they CHOSE to be poor or chose to have this accident or chose to be not able to find healthcare they can afford.

    What strikes me as an even bigger problem is the notion that even if they had chosen poorly (and people do make bad choices all the time), your attitude is, quite simply, fuck em.

  78. 78
    Ugh says:

    The issue at stake here is whether or not there should means testing for subsidies.

    Did Malkin get means tested for her healthcare subsidy?

  79. 79
    libarbarian says:

    The worst kind of demagoguery would be, “If President Bush vetoes this bill, the terrorists will have won.”

    Now that you mention it ….. how do we know that the Frosts are not muslims?

    Just asking….

  80. 80
    Jon H says:

    “The state of Maryland effectively subsidized the Frosts commercial real estate investment.”

    It wasn’t an ‘investment’ the way you imply, it was a place of business for the company the father tried to start and run. Presumably the townhouse doesn’t provide much room for proper commerical-scale woodworking. The company had to be shut down, but he still owns the building, which he is renting out.

  81. 81
    spoosmith says:

    Vapid twit.

  82. 82
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    Got it? “This helped me, I want it to help others.” It wasn’t hiding behind a kid, it was the picture of advocacy by citizens who had been helped by a government program

    No, John, it would’ve been the picture of advocacy by citizens if the citizen had actually written it. Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    I fail to see how an intelligent person can miss that point entirely.

  83. 83
    OxyCon says:

    I like “Cheese Eating Surrender Anchor Baby Malkin” even better!

  84. 84
    zzyzx says:

    What the Libertarians never understand is that the true beneficiaries of a safety net aren’t the people who get helped directly (although, of course, it’s great for them), it’s the rest of us who live in a much more stable society.

    There are reasons why we can go to work every day and not have to worry about being kidnapped or why you can actually get a mortgage or a car loan from a bank. It’s because we have some government enforced stability in our system. When people make bad choices (e.g. not having health insurance because they think that they’re invulnerable) and suffer the consequences, they don’t just shuffle off quietly in the corner to die. Rather, they get desperate and try to do whatever they can for the money.

  85. 85
    Dr. Squid says:

    Well, actually Patrick Kennedy claimed Bush’s veto was “terrorism against families.”

    IOW, you lied when you said that pointing out the example of Graeme from is “the worst kind of demagoguery.”

    Why should anyone believe conservatives when it’s pretty damn clear that you don’t even believe your own verbal diarrhea?

  86. 86
    ploeg says:

    Interesting that you mention Cindy Sheehan. Insofar as Sheehan and the Democrats made common cause, it is readily apparent that Cindy Sheehan used the Democrats as much as, if not more than, the Democrats used Cindy Sheehan. As we are seeing from Sheehan’s recent tiffs with specific Democrats (including a threat to run for Congress against Pelosi), this sort of promotion cuts both ways.

    I don’t consider the Frosts or Sheehan to be victims here (at least not yet). They were given a platform to speak their minds, they used the platform, and they’re getting attacked for using the platform, which gives their views a far greater airing than they would otherwise have had. The attacks against these people show only that the right-wing wind machine has collectively lost its marbles. We’re told that people such as the Frosts or Sheehan are by all rights the Republican ideal. It is instead apparent that the Republican ideal is for the strong to take what they can, and for the weak to yield what they must, even if it includes their house, their health, their sons and daughters….

  87. 87
    Fledermaus says:

    Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    In other words, kinda like Bush’s speeches.

  88. 88
    Detlef says:

    EEELS says:

    No, John, it would’ve been the picture of advocacy by citizens if the citizen had actually written it. Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    How do you know that?
    I could trace “Yes, we know, Senate staffers wrote the speech for Graeme” back to Mark Steyn and then to an opinion piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
    But that´s not confirmation of a fact.

    Besides, even if it´s true, does that make your President Bush a mouth-piece for his speech-writers? Just asking?

  89. 89
    Jon H says:

    “Besides, even if it´s true, does that make your President Bush a mouth-piece for his speech-writers”

    Graeme read his better.

  90. 90
    tBone says:

    No, John, it would’ve been the picture of advocacy by citizens if the citizen had actually written it. Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    Dumbest thing you’ve ever posted here. “Bu- bu- but it doesn’t matter if it was all true, the kid didn’t write it on his own!”

  91. 91
    RSA says:

    Well, actually Patrick Kennedy claimed Bush’s veto was “terrorism against families.”

    Point, Jay. That is demagoguery.

    By the way, do we know who actually wrote Graeme’s speech? WIthout knowing anything, I’d assumed he had himself.

  92. 92
    Peter Johnson says:

    It’s too bad the Democrats decided that pushing their agenda was more important than the privacy of this family. I’m totally against anyone who has written nasty things to the family. But the Democrats should have known this would happen. They probably did, but they went ahead with it anyway.

    They’re probably using the whole incident to raise money! They’re probably glad it happened!

    Once again, the Democrats have put politics before decency.

  93. 93
    Eli Rabett says:

    I want to say something that is both important and getting lost here. John Cole and AJ Strata are conservatives, as conservative as I am progressive verging on social democrat, but my sense of it is that one can debate with them, perhaps find areas of operational if not philosophical agreement. One side might have the best of it or the other, but the country and the world would move forward.

    Not so with the clowns.

  94. 94
    tBone says:

    Once again, the Democrats have put politics before decency.

    Waaaay too obvious. Your spoof needs a lot of work if you’re going to peddle it around here.

  95. 95

    […] So again, what the fuck is wrong with you people? Brad and John Cole have already laid out the reasons why we need to fight fire with fire in battling these character assassinating garbage sifters. So where in the hell are the comparisons of me to an eagle? What about my ‘resolve, to keep doing, day after day’ what I do*? If Malkin’s commenters wish they had ‘half the strength’ of their heroine … my commenters better fucking wish they had ‘a quarter of the strength’ of me! Shit, I’d even take ‘three-sevenths the strength’! I’m not asking for a lot here, people. […]

  96. 96
    Doug H. says:

    It’s too bad the Democrats decided that pushing their agenda was more important than the privacy of this family. I’m totally against anyone who has written nasty things to the family. But the Democrats should have known this would happen. They probably did, but they went ahead with it anyway.

    “Just look at how she dresses! She was asking for it!”

  97. 97
    Peter Johnson says:

    Tbone, what would you call using a 12 year-old kid as a shield? If it had been your call, knowing what you know now about what the family has had to go through, would you still support using a child to read the Democratic script?

  98. 98
    Krista says:

    But the Democrats should have known this would happen. They probably did, but they went ahead with it anyway.

    So, um, it’s the Democrats’ fault, because they should have known that the Republicans are craven animals with absolutely no sense of decency?

    Right. Okay. Glad you’re not a rape counsellor, friend.

  99. 99
    Krista says:

    Tbone, what would you call using a 12 year-old kid as a shield?

    Please don’t give us that shit. When you are promoting a program, nobody is going to listen if you give dry facts. People want to see a human face — they want to see someone that the program has actually helped. If they HADN’T used anybody as an example of the program working, then people like you would have been all over them saying, “Yeah, some great program! Find us ONE person it’s helped!”

    The program is a health care plan for kids. It is THEY who the program helps. Having a child give a brief statement about how the program helped him is not using him as a shield. It is simply providing a face to the success story. It is done all the time. In the Frosts’ case, I think it was done pretty respectfully — all the kid did was say how the program helped him. And now we have right-wing lunatics calling for IRS audits on his family, and claiming that the Frosts should have not had children if they weren’t able to afford private insurance. Nice. But all of this is somehow the Dems’ fault?

    If the Republicans are the party of personal responsibility, then why the fuck do they keep trying to blame the Dems for “making” them act like utter shitheads?

  100. 100
    OxyCon says:

    The CHIP program is for insuring uninsured children. Who the hell are the Democrats supposed to use as an example of how the program works and how the program benefits needy children? Graeme Frost was a perfect example of what the CHIP program is all about. Decent people who disagree with the CHIP program would attack the program, not a defensless 12 year old boy and his family.
    The extreme right wing Repub party is on record as viciously attacking 12 year old boys; widows (9-11); wives (Wilson-Plame) and Gold Star Moms (Sheehan).

  101. 101
    tBone says:

    If it had been your call, knowing what you know now about what the family has had to go through due to Michelle Malkin and other bottom-feeders who discarded their last vestigial shreds of human decency, would you still support using a child to read the Democratic script that accurately described the child’s experiences with S-CHIP?

    Your display of pretzel logic is truly impressive. Seriously, the mind fucking boggles.

  102. 102
    Mike says:

    Thank you for your essay on this disgusting affair. I am a liberal who is happy to debate conservatives and consider their ideas in an intelligent and reasonable manner. That is how it ought to be in this country — our country. However, what this Malkin smear episode reveals is that there are people who do not care about what is best for our nation, but only about destroying others. That, to me, is as Un-American as you can get.

  103. 103
    zzyzx says:

    What a lot of people are forgetting is that this whole thing was the Democratic response to the weekly Presidential radio address. I think this comment is a better forum to get your views out than that. I don’t even know how to listen to these weekly messages, let alone know anyone who cares.

  104. 104
    thalarctos says:

    If it had been your call, knowing what you know now about what the family has had to go through, would you still support using a child to read the Democratic script?

    …and “Peter Johnson” gives away the game.
    The whole objective of the Frost smear campaign is utterly unrelated to S-CHIP. It’s about scaring off the Democrats from citing real-life examples of citizens who benefit from their policies. It’s about making ordinary citizens afraid of telling their stories in a national forum. It’s about making us afraid of them.

    It’s terrorism.

  105. 105
    RSA says:

    When you are promoting a program, nobody is going to listen if you give dry facts. People want to see a human face—they want to see someone that the program has actually helped.

    Good one, Krista; just what I wish I had written. SCHIP isn’t just about moving funding from one place to another; it’s about helping people. Graeme Frost is a representative example of someone who has been helped. His case is just an illustration, though, which makes this whole tempest a little bit ridiculous.

  106. 106
    HyperIon says:

    Jay Says:

    24-year-old adult students.

    Yeah. I’m sure they were all students.

    so you’re implying that they are “phony students”?
    get back under the bridge. you got nothing.

  107. 107

    […] Other commentators (Jeffrey Feldman at Frameshop, Juan Cole,  Ezra Klein, and Think Progress among others)  have chronicled the bizarre, false, and malevolent attacks against the family, justifying their uglienss by saying that the family is “fair game” because they dared speak out publicly.  It’s difficult for me to look at the actions of say, Michelle Malkin or Rush Limbaugh, with regard to this and not wonder what in the name of God is wrong with these people?  Is there something in the DSM that describes this deranged explosive violence?  […]

  108. 108
    jcricket says:

    Who the hell are the Democrats supposed to use as an example of how the program works and how the program benefits needy children?

    Wanted: b-list middle age actors and/or sports heroes to support Democratic campaign in support of healthcare bill.

    Preferred: Ability to speak Aramaic or other dead language with which to accuse people who oppose the healthcare bill of betraying Jesus/God.

    Not required: Any connection to healthcare, children, politics.

  109. 109
    Rick Taylor says:

    I know I keep repeating his,but I’m still baffled why the administration or the RNC hasn’t taken a stronger hand in all this. Bush’s stand was always that he supported the program, but didn’t want to see it expanded to people who could afford health care on their own. Attacks on the Frost’s undermine that argument completely; it makes it sound as though the right resents anyone being helped at all, even people who are poor enough to qualify for the program as it is.

    Ok, so can understand why the right wing is doing this; everyone loves to demonize the other side. But why aren’t the Republicans who are actually in power, and who must see how this is costing them, heading it off at the pass? Why isn’t the President or some other high file Republican saying look, we favor the program, we want to cover people like Graeme, and the Democrats are way out of line for suggesting otherwise! We just feel that in expanding the program to people who could afford insurance without it, they are being fiscally irresponsible and putting incrementally pushing government run solutions for their own sake.

    One could disagree with that argument, but it has the virtue of attacking the Democrats and not the Frosts while keeping up their compassionate but responsible conservative bonafides. It might even put Democrats on the defensive. I can see why a portion of the conservative base hasn’t taken this route, but I can’t fathom why leading Republicans aren’t pushing it more, to counter some of the damage.

  110. 110
    jcricket says:

    Graeme Frost is a representative example of someone who has been helped. His case is just an illustration, though, which makes this whole tempest a little bit ridiculous.

    Republicans only succeed in support for their politics when people think everything is theoretical (like tax cuts increasing revenue, or eliminating social programs because no one needs them). The more actual examples they are forced to contend with (or fail to produce in the case of supporting their own cause) the worse they look.

    There is nothing Republicans fear more than an honest debate. At one time perhaps this was untrue (see William Buckley, Goldwater, even Bush Senior), but no longer. Is it really a surprise that Republicans, who idealize debate responses like “there you go again” are now the ones who think shouting “SOCIALIZED MEDICINE” is a successful response in a debate about healthcare policy?

  111. 111
    HyperIon says:

    Continuing in the theme of reading the Moran so you don’t have to, again the main inmate at the nuthouse rants on and on but this seems to be his point:

    So far, no one on the left has bothered to explain how conservative blogs are smearing Graeme Frost.

    So he continues with the “Nothing happened but the LEFT is deranged” analysis. Is reducing the matter to semantics the last refuge of scoundrels? I guess we need to find the missing rightwing post titled “I am smearing Graeme Frost”.

  112. 112
    HyperIon says:

    John Cole wrote:

    She turned her tails

    why plural? forked?

  113. 113

    No, John, it would’ve been the picture of advocacy by citizens if the citizen had actually written it. Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    I fail to see how an intelligent person can miss that point entirely.

    If so, I’m failing to see how any intelligent person would use this to rationalize going after the kids family.

  114. 114
    El Cid says:

    I’m going to teach that damn American Cancer Society a lesson once and for all for trotting out those kids to play victims while they beg for money and research.

    If they’ve got a problem with cancer, fine, but they don’t need to put kids out there to take the heat for their charity drive.

  115. 115
    jcricket says:

    If they’ve got a problem with cancer, fine, but they don’t need to put kids out there to take the heat for their charity drive.

    I hate how they exploit those kids by shaving their heads and making them lose weight for months before they appear on air, just to make us sympathetic. Getting those kids hopes up that science can provide advances in therapies or treatment is just cruel, because we all know that science leads to darwinism/godlessness, which leads to death, because god hates evolution.

    What gets me even more incensed, is those stupid “charities” that want me to support all the bloated children in Africa. Those kids obviously have time to eat at Old Country Buffets (how else would they get so bloated), work on their tans (I’ve never gotten that dark) and relax outside on the beach (where else is it so brown?). So tell me why should I support these street urchins’ free-loading lifestyle?

    Plus, I frame-by-framed the commercials with my Tivo and those flies that swarm around them are definitely not African tsetse flies. I bet it was all filmed on a sound stage in Hollywood.

  116. 116
    Pooh says:

    Frosts are probably considered public figures, and as such, the bar they’d have to clear to win a lawsuit is extremely high (in the US).

    No no no no no NO. They don’t become public figures simply because you publish something about them. This, my friends, is known as bootstrapping. Not to mention that proof of actual malice is plentiful here…

  117. 117
    biwah says:

    Jcricket:

    Republicans only succeed in support for their politics when people think everything is theoretical (like tax cuts increasing revenue, or eliminating social programs because no one needs them). The more actual examples they are forced to contend with (or fail to produce in the case of supporting their own cause) the worse they look.

    Damn straight. This is the reason for the tempest. If we start putting human faces on health care issues, what’s next? Putting a human face on the war on drugs casualty count? Concrete examples of why it might affect citizens if telecom companies are exempted from criminal laws? Factual pieces on the whole range of war wounds suffered in Iraq?

    The hard right knows how to sell ideology on the back of guns, god, and abortion, but with concrete examples, their whole schtick, indeed the whole cosmology of values, constructed image by inflammatory image, is revealed as completely at odds with the mainstream.

  118. 118
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Like ENVIROMENTAL DEFENSE using kids in their fruadulent ads about this global warming lie these rotten liberals and their left-wing news media have no shame

  119. 119
    Jon H says:

    Peter Johnson wrote: “Tbone, what would you call using a 12 year-old kid as a shield”

    Nothing in the content of Frost’s statement was objectionable.

    Why should a shield be necessary?

    Are Republicans not capable of having a civil discourse? Maybe they should move to Iraq. They aren’t ready for a civil society either.

  120. 120
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Eli Rabett Says:

    I want to say something that is both important and getting lost here. John Cole and AJ Strata are conservatives, as conservative as I am progressive verging on social democrat, but my sense of it is that one can debate with them, perhaps find areas of operational if not philosophical agreement. One side might have the best of it or the other, but the country and the world would move forward.

    Not so with the clowns.
    October 11th, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Very true….I share your political perspective, but I am smart enough to realize that it takes two oars in the water to row in a straight line. Cole and Strata seem to be understand that one can be a conservative without being a cult-like member of Bush Republicanism. Our country would be better served if there were more clear thinkers like the John Cole’s and AJ Strata’s leading the Right’s dialogue on policy issues. People who I might not agree with, but can at least articulate their positions without pandering to the knuckle dragging, anti-socialist core.

  121. 121
    Rick Taylor says:

    Eli Rabett Says:
    I want to say something that is both important and getting lost here. John Cole and AJ Strata are conservatives, as conservative as I am progressive verging on social democrat, but my sense of it is that one can debate with them, perhaps find areas of operational if not philosophical agreement. One side might have the best of it or the other, but the country and the world would move forward.

    Uhhhhhhh, you don’t say?

    From AJ Strata :

    The Democrats missed their chance to ensure defeat in Iraq and hand al Qaeda a huge PR victory. They cannot claim any responsibility for the turn around they fought so hard to avoid. And in fact they rightfully wear the mantel of the ones who tried to run away when we are on the cusp of turning things around. They are the ones who whimped out just before the final pieces fell into place. The Surrendercrats cowered in the face of al Qaeda violence while, at the same time, Iraqis stood up to it and purged it from their commuities.

  122. 122
    jcricket says:

    The hard right knows how to sell ideology on the back of guns, god, and abortion, but with concrete examples, their whole schtick, indeed the whole cosmology of values, constructed image by inflammatory image, is revealed as completely at odds with the mainstream. fabricated.

    Fixed.

    Seriously, you can draw a straight line connecting the imagery in Reagan’s mythical welfare queen to the image current Republicans are trying to create with socialized medicine or even the islomafascists who we’re all supposed to kill before they force us to wear burqas.

    Fear works, for a while, but not when it’s all you have.

  123. 123
    whipporwill says:

    Johnson,

    But the Democrats should have known this would happen. They probably did, but they went ahead with it anyway.

    That’s because we’ve decided {many of us anyway} that wingnuts are not going to control the debate by intimidation from vicious wingnut assaults. Hopefully, some day, we hope to convince dem lawmakers to grow a spine and not fear reeper-ish wingnut smear merchants. It’s good for you guys too cause you get to be your blood-sucking selves, where the world can see the real you. So, you see, it’s win/win all around.

  124. 124
    Jay says:

    Patrick, I read your take here, and I couldn’t disagree more. Were they using this kid as a shield, I would agree it was inexcusable. but as it is clear they were not, the venom and vitriole launched at this family are simply out of line.

    John, using the kid would have been fine had the President said he was going to veto the reauthorization of the program. But that’s the not the case here. Read what that kid says again. To most people who aren’t up on these subjects (and that is a lot of people), tell me how somebody doesn’t read into that Bush is attempting to do away with the program? Patrick is 100% right. If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

  125. 125
    Jody says:

    “If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.”

    Clearly. Because bringing forth a clear example of the system working for folks it was intended to help was innately wrongheaded.

  126. 126
    John S. says:

    If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

    Yes, clearly appealing to the emotions of people without hearts was a mistake. One day, Democrats will learn that the only path to a Republican’s heart is through his wallet.

  127. 127
    Otto Man says:

    If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

    Thank God the Republicans are above that kind of nonsense.

    They’d never say that a mushroom cloud from Saddam Hussein’s army of gay Islamomexifascists were going to cross our borders, kill our snowflake babies and then take control of the family farm owned by that old woman seated next to Laura Bush at the State of the Union.

    Thank. God.

  128. 128
    whipporwill says:

    Jay

    So what if they use a recipient of benefits as a spokes person to garner support. It’s done all the time by both parties.

    If what dems did sticks in your craw, then blog nasty stuff about Pelosi or Reid.

    The whole point of this argument is about who the combatants are and who is free game “to go after” If you think civilians {and despite your protests the Frost’s are civilians} are fair game to attack then we think that is crossing a line. It is the point I was trying to make this morning when you spun falsely my comments on the Snow Flake Children. Limbaugh stated the dems had brainwashed the boy. Then go after the dems. What the Freeper, Malkin’s and friends did was chickenshit cowardice and we are calling them out on it.

    If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

    Now your whining because dems apparently violated some phony wingnut etiquette on political discourse. You got caught denying insurance to children based on wingnut ideology and your afraid the public won’t approve and blame you for it. Well, at least you got that right, and then you doubled the disaster by attacking a decent American family.

    Get over yourselves.

  129. 129
    EJ says:

    I for one am outraged at this brand-new tactic, which the Democrats invented last week, of using children to give emotional appeal to political issues.

    This has never before been a part of American politics and should outrage every patriotic citizen.

  130. 130
    Tim F. says:

    If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

    You have to admit, for a Republican supporter to say that today takes some serious balls.

  131. 131
    John Cole says:

    To most people who aren’t up on these subjects (and that is a lot of people), tell me how somebody doesn’t read into that Bush is attempting to do away with the program? Patrick is 100% right.

    That is the new standard? Your excuse for them savaging the family is not because he actually said anything objectionable, but because uninformed people could “read into” things?

    Give me a fucking break.

  132. 132
    Tax Analyst says:

    Peter Johnson Says:

    It’s too bad the Democrats decided that pushing their agenda was more important than the privacy of this family. I’m totally against anyone who has written nasty things to the family. But the Democrats should have known this would happen. They probably did, but they went ahead with it anyway.

    You’ve truly got an amazing mind, Petey. I had a cousin who used to bully his younger brother. When the younger tried to fight back the bully beat him up, and when questioned by their mother about incident his excuse was, “Well, he hit me back first”.

    I can see you nodding in agreement at this very moment. I doubt you’ll ever understand what’s going on unless you happen to find yourself on the other end of the equation, which is kind of a pity.

  133. 133
    John Cole says:

    If the Democrats had such a solid basis for expanding the program like they want to, they could make the case without having to resort to the fallacy of appealing to emotion.

    9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!

  134. 134
    El Cid says:

    Good thing Ronald Reagan never used overblown emotional appeals, such as mentioning that them thar Nicaraguan Sandinistas wuz only 2 HOURS DRIVE from Harlingen, Texas, apparently able to send an army across all of Mexico unnoticed, so we better overthrow them there so we don’t have to fight them here.

  135. 135
    charlie says:

    Rick Taylor said: …”Ok, so can understand why the right wing is doing this; everyone loves to demonize the other side.”…

    Well I guess I don’t have enough fire in my belly to like do that sort of thing so I’m glad I don’t have to make the effort in this case. Malkin and her ilk are doing just fine by themselves. They don’t argue merits of the program, the costs of the program, whether or not it requires premiums. The program’s coverage isn’t compared to what the Frosts might have been able to afford, or purchase at all, as profit based insurance companies could have denied them for all sorts of reasons. They attacked the messenger, a twelve year old boy who was saved from a terrible car wreck, endured a coma, major surgery and months of physical therapy. I’m glad that at least one government program is doing something I approve of, its refreshing.
    Since its so effective and is supported by both the private insurance and medical establishment lobbies, 2/3 of the Senate and over 60% of the House voted to expand it. I’ll be mildly disappointed if Bush’s veto is upheld, but if so I’m buoyed by the realization that around 1/21/09 we’ll probably have an even better program.

  136. 136
    jcricket says:

    9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!

    Ooh, is that one of those magic eye posters where if I cross my eyes I see a sailboat?

  137. 137
    Jay says:

    I had to wade through a pool of “But Republicans do it too!!” to get to this:

    That is the new standard? Your excuse for them savaging the family is not because he actually said anything objectionable, but because uninformed people could “read into” things?

    Give me a fucking break.

    John, you’re not stupid so stop acting stupid. My comment was in the context of pointing out to you why it was wrong for Democrats to do what they did (you claim they didn’t use the kid as a shield. I contend they did), not to excuse what Malkin et al did.

    Cripes.

  138. 138
    HyperIon says:

    Fear works, for a while, but not when it’s all you have.

    define “a while”.
    hasn’t it been “a while” already?

  139. 139
    Dr Zen says:

    You know, reading a sane rightwinger is a rare delight! I’d forgotten they even existed.

    You know, in the UK no one would even consider attacking the family for doing the ad. No one. It would strike even the most batshit as stupid, because advocacy is such an established form of political advertising. The government is always running this kind of thing, so people don’t think twice about it.

    What’s scary is how close to the mainstream Malkin seems to be. I hope it’s only seeming, anyway.

  140. 140
    DonkeyKong says:

    I’m. Trrrrembling.

    With. Laughter

    And Thorazine

  141. 141
    El Cid says:

    Republicans had better never, ever, ever, ever, ever again trot out any ordinary people supposedly helped by one of their programs or policies, because obviously under the new “fair game” rules we best start stalking their homes, trying to pry damning information out of employees, coworkers, neighbors, and relatives, going through their trash, etc., and blindly and with barely directed rage making up bullsh*t charges against said ordinary people.

  142. 142
    whipporwill says:

    John, you’re not stupid so stop acting stupid. My comment was in the context of pointing out to you why it was wrong for Democrats to do what they did (you claim they didn’t use the kid as a shield.

    Jay

    70 percent of the American people want this legislation.
    It passed with a veto majority in the Senate and within a handful of votes of veto proof in the House. If this was an unpopular bill then maybe you’d have a point. But as it is dems don’t need a “shield” to hide behind. That’s just silly on it’s face. We say advocate, you say shield. Tomato/Tomaahto.

  143. 143
    John's Minions says:

    We appreciate the shout-out sir! We would have responded sooner, but we were at work and sober. You really need to get that wet-bar installed in the lair. Spies aren’t the only ones that like a martini now and then you know. A dry Hendricks with a slice of cucumber would do wonders for morale…..

  144. 144
    John's Minions says:

    Also can we just say.. What’s with the bush-league bullshit, can you imagine a real supervillain like Blofeld, Cheney or Largo goiing after a civilian family? Pathetic. Real Badasses take on governments, or at least the man from U.N.C.L.E. There’s no payoff here, and we wonder why they’re bothering.
    We’re not afraid of Malkin, maybe instead of producing Hot Air, we should be reminding our congresscritters not to be either.

  145. 145
    jcricket says:

    define “a while”.
    hasn’t it been “a while” already?

    Yes, it’s been a while, but America wised up, somewhere between 2004 and 2006 (see the last election).

    For a long time the GOP has cloaked its true message using useful tools like the GOP moderates, “compassionate conservatism” and the memory of ex-beloved-somewhat-not-wingnutty-presidents (e.g. Reagan, Goldwater). Now those people are long gone, and all that’s left is the nuttiness laid bare.

    Plus the religious right appears that it’s tired of being “strung along”. They want their Christian nation, and they want it now. Sign me up for the Texas GOP party platform being the official GOP national platform. See how it goes down with most Americans.

  146. 146
    Rome Again says:

    No, John, it would’ve been the picture of advocacy by citizens if the citizen had actually written it. Instead it was a talking points paper that a Democratic staffer wrote, and then had a kid mouth the words to make a PR display.

    I fail to see how an intelligent person can miss that point entirely.

    Lambchop, why does it matter what words were spoken? The kid was a face, only a face, to put to the situation. As a recipient of the program, he was helped by it. It doesn’t matter who wrote the words he spoke, so long as he believed in what he said, and I don’t see him or his family screaming bloody hell that that they were used unfairly. The kid believed what he stated whether he wrote it or not. Your point is moot, as all of your points always are.

  147. 147
    4jkb4ia says:

    With this post, the whole issue of Michelle Malkin needs no further comment. Today is the first day of the ALCS and I am going to try to forget that according to her no liberal blogger can act in good faith. Ezra’s first post was excellent.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Other commentators (Jeffrey Feldman at Frameshop, Juan Cole,  Ezra Klein, and Think Progress among others)  have chronicled the bizarre, false, and malevolent attacks against the family, justifying their uglienss by saying that the family is “fair game” because they dared speak out publicly.  It’s difficult for me to look at the actions of say, Michelle Malkin or Rush Limbaugh, with regard to this and not wonder what in the name of God is wrong with these people?  Is there something in the DSM that describes this deranged explosive violence?  […]

  2. […] So again, what the fuck is wrong with you people? Brad and John Cole have already laid out the reasons why we need to fight fire with fire in battling these character assassinating garbage sifters. So where in the hell are the comparisons of me to an eagle? What about my ‘resolve, to keep doing, day after day’ what I do*? If Malkin’s commenters wish they had ‘half the strength’ of their heroine … my commenters better fucking wish they had ‘a quarter of the strength’ of me! Shit, I’d even take ‘three-sevenths the strength’! I’m not asking for a lot here, people. […]

  3. […] October 11th, 2007 Ann Coulter’s Mini-Me scuttles away when challenged to an actual debate about the S-CHIP program, as opposed to slurring a 12-year-old and picking through his family’s garbage. Other wingerbloggers lay down a methane smokescreen to cover Mini-Malk’s tracks, but John Cole disperses it quite handily.  Posted by stevenhart Filed in Uncategorized […]

  4. […] John Cole (emphasis added): I can understand why people would get frustrated if the Democrats put up a little boy who stated “Please don’t kill this bill or I will suffer.” It would be demagoguery and shameless and it would be hiding behind a kid. […]

  5. […] John Cole (emphasis added): I can understand why people would get frustrated if the Democrats put up a little boy who stated “Please don’t kill this bill or I will suffer.” It would be demagoguery and shameless and it would be hiding behind a kid. […]

  6. […] Update: Maybe it’s the zeal of the newly-converted, or the newly unconverted, I don’t know. But as mentioned previously, John Cole has been on fire about this issue this week – and here we have some more: Aside from the disgusting nature of the attacks on the Frost family, this is one of the things that has many of us aghast. To what end are these Freepers and Malkinites and Corner readers attacking these people, as even if the Bush veto of the expansion holds, they are going to still qualify for the program? The inability to recognize this, and the instinctive need to just attack, attack, attack and smear, smear, smear is what has surprised me the most. This is not a policy dispute to these folks- this is tribalism, and something deeper and darker and more sinister. It was a mob whipped into a frenzy, a blind rage, and there was no point to it other than the rage itself. […]

  7. […] Also, John Cole is again making sense: But like all schoolyard bullies, when punched in the mouth, they back down. Given the chance to debate the policy she clearly feels so strongly about, Michelle wimped out. She turned her tails and fled. One could say she gave the French response. […]

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