Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Max Cleland-ing of Graeme Frost

For what it's worth, here's my take on the whole S-CHIP/Frost uproar. The Democrats wanted to go for the emotional jugular by putting a human face on a political issue, instead of debating the insurance expansion on its merits. But instead of picking a truly needy kid, they picked 12-year-old Graeme Frost from Maryland and a compliant press was happy to promote the narrative.

Unfortunately, the Frost family became problematic for the Democrats because, ironically, they served to support the very argument the Republicans were making that an expansion of SCHIP would help people who had the means to help themselves. And no matter how high the dudgeon of the Left blogosphere, most Americans would agree that a family sending their kids to private school, taking in rental income on a $160,000 property, living in a quarter-million dollar home, while working "intermittently" in full-employment Baltimore simply doesn't fit the description of "needy."

So the narrative had to shift and it became "Republicans attacking a 12-year-old kid."

Weak. Once again, the Left has decided that the boundaries of free speech end the very moment when one of their own is attacked. It's exactly like the Max Cleland saga, the hero who fell from grace and could not be criticized for any reason, certainly not his Senatorial record:

If you can't criticize the Senate votes of a senator in a Senate race, what can you criticize? Throughout the race, Cleland tried to hide behind the idea that his patriotism was being questioned. A columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted in June of 2002 that "this 'how-dare-you-attack-my-patriotism' ploy, replete with feigned a device to put Cleland's voting records off-limits." It didn't work. Chambliss won the crucial endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which made its nod on the basis of the two candidates' differing records on national-security and veterans issues. The VFW wouldn't have been complicit in a gutter campaign based on smearing a Vietnam veteran.
So, back then, criticizing a Senator's record was taboo because he's a triple amputee. Then it was unthinkable to criticize John Kerry's Vietnam record - the raison d'etre for his Presidential run - because, well, he was in Vietnam. Cindy Sheehan was endowed with "absolute moral authority" and she also was above criticism. Even those who have the temerity to question global warming must be silenced. Now they roll out the Frost family and shut down debate with a wave of manufactured outrage.

Put down the human shields and debate the issues.

Extra - Captain Ed weighs in while Heading Right notes that there are an awful lot of adults taking advantage of the program designed for kids.


Permanent Republican majority said...

Bzzzzttt! Oh, I am sorry. It was a very nice try. But you don't get to be disgusted about using prop kids to go for emotional jugulars after your leader hauls out a batallion of "snowflake children" to sell his kneecapping of science. You don't get to decry the partisan limits of free speech after your side wastes the country's time by denouncing a paid attack ad. You don't get to repeatedly impugn the other side's patriotism as a campaign tactic, and then be hurt when people observe that you've repeatedly impugned the other side's patriotism as a campaign tactic. You don't get to claim you support the troops while wearing humorous Purple Heart Band-Aids. You don't get to call this Frost kid "fair game" while declaring Mary Cheney beyond the pale. You don't get to whine that the Dems won't fairly debate the issues on their merits while your keyboard kommandos are driving around the Frosts' neighborhood, making guesses about the decor of their home, and doing speculative financial paperwork on their behalf. And you sure don't get to play the "manufactured outrage" card when it's the only thing keeping Michelle Malkin alive.

The two words you're groping for aren't "we're justified," but "I'm sorry." The Frosts are the kind of family that's allegedly the Republican ideal: white, still married, family values, small business entrepreneurs, private school, property taxes. But they dared oppose our leader, and must therefore be annihilated.

The most strident creeps of the rightwing blogosphere, looking to make their bones by trying to whip up a "Dan Rather memo" scoop, have come off as the hateful bullies they are. You'd think the GOP faithful would have learned something from the Terri Schiavo catastrophe that first sent the electoral boulder rolling. But those Two Minutes Hate sessions are a hard habit to break. As for the specifics of the "Boy Derangement Syndrome"? That this behavior is now defended as an appropriate "just the facts" response suggests that some people have lost their moorings and perspective. If they ever had it.

Mitch McConnell, who pushed the Schiavo farce, is smart enough to repudiate this disgrace. He learned a little something from 2006. It seems that some other people are going to need another lesson.

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, oh! Those manipulative Democrats, and their shameless exploitation of children! Thank God there are brave bloggers to speak out against the scuzzy practice whenever it occurs!

freetofly said...

Addressing commenter #1. Bottom line is REASONABLE, THINKING PEOPLE have a right to chose not to support the government taking more of our money to spend in the way they choose to provide medical coverage for families who should be working that out for themselves. By ANY stretch of the imagination the family the DEMs chose to use as their poster campaign DOES illustrate the very reason I DO not support giving more of my family's money to the government, who will at times make good choices and many times make ill-advised choices in something that is a personal issue. America needs to move away from looking to Uncle Sam to "fix" all our social ills. We need to build families, individuals, churches, charities and communities who help each other. But if we are busy working night and day paying for a socialist medical program, nobody will have any energy left to do that. & I must add that adding the tax to the tobacco products was just stupid.

People, we KNOW that WE as individuals, families and whatever non-profit groups and churches we are part of are the best sources to help those WHO TRULY NEED it.

Tithe Kwan Do said...

Free To Fly--
Your definitions of "reasonable" and "thinking" are intriguing to say the least. Have you realized that, under tightened SCHIP regulations, both sides agree that the Frost family would still qualify? Thus, you need to do some imagination isotoning. "By ANY stretch of the imagination," you're mistaken, and the hate brigade still loses.

Also, nobody believes the right's "if only the obligation to help others through taxes were removed, we'd cheerfully help and help and help some more" lie. I may be born again, but I wasn't born again yesterday.

Rachel Maddow said (yeah, yeah, partisan hack, Pravdaganda, spewing hate, etc, etc... after we read her drivel, let's click on that free thinker Michelle Malkin and see how she's surprised us today):
“Twelve-year-old Graeme Frost, meet Cindy Sheehan, meet 9/11 widows, meet Staff Sgt. Brian McGough, meet Michael J. Fox, meet the kids who were targeted by Mark Foley, meet Jack Murtha. I mean, Graeme Frost as a twelve year old now joins an esteemed list of Americans who have been personally attacked, personally slimed, called liars and cowards and frauds, and threatened for daring to publicly espouse a view that the right disagrees with. I mean, just when you think you’ve found the person who they can’t possibly slime - I don’t know, say a twelve year old kid just out of a coma - turns out, yeah, the bar does actually go that low. It’s just astonishing.”