Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How Dare You Respond!

The left is in high dudgeon over conservative bloggers yanking down the Democratic façade surrounding the poster children for their naked attempt to expand government health care for those who can afford private insurance. This is typical of the left and once again reveals that they are long on anger and short on argument. So in order to mask that deficiency they resort to labeling legitimate criticism as “smear campaigns”, “intimidation” and “harassment.” Thus, they have distracted from and distorted the real issue at hand. This is the essence of progressive politics.

All through the debate over expanding SCHIP, the president and conservatives made the argument that the expansion would go far beyond helping those who really need it and cover those families who could afford to purchase private insurance. In fact, Bush has offered a proposal to expand the program by $5 billion a year, with overall spending limited to $30 billion.

What did the Democrats do after the veto? They rolled out a 12-year old, with a speech prepared by Senate Democrats, as the poster child for their argument that Bush is an evil meanie. What was the intimidating, harassing smear campaign by conservative bloggers? Pointing out that this poster child represented the very conservative argument against SCHIP! Leave it to the Democrats to provide the very example that proves the flaw in their plan.

As Mark Steyn pointed out, “The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a Seventh Grader. If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man's job, then the boy is fair game…. anytime I send my seven-year-old out to argue policy you're welcome to clobber him, too. The alternative is a world in which genuine debate is ended and, as happened with Master Frost, politics dwindles down to professional staffers writing scripts to be mouthed by Equity moppets…
So executive vice-presidents' families are now the new new poor? I support lower taxes for the Frosts, increased child credits for the Frosts, an end to the "death tax" and other encroachments on transgenerational wealth transfer, and even severe catastrophic medical-emergency aid of one form or other. But there is no reason to put more and more middle-class families on the government teat, and doing so is deeply corrosive of liberty.
And, if the Democrats don't like me saying that, next time put up someone in long pants to make your case.

The Democrats made the Frost family fair game by putting them in the political arena. It is entirely right and legitimate for conservative bloggers to bring forth the facts of their situation. All the leftists faux outrage over this is not any genuine concern for the Frost family but outrage at the fact that conservative bloggers exposed, for all to see, their disingenuous brand of politics, and lack of a real argument.

Having said that, there are conservative bloggers who went beyond legitimate criticism, and strayed into Kos-like bile, like this one at Red State. As intemperate and vile as this post is, it is not typical of conservative blogging on this subject. However, mainstream journalists have no compunction about framing it as such.

Sun reporter Matthew Hay Brown used this Red State post as the centerpiece of his follow-up article in the Baltimore Sun. Brown’s article paints that particular Red State post as typical of all conservative criticism, it is not and Brown knows this. Indeed, it was his shallow reporting and aping of Democrat talking points that in part, led conservative bloggers to reveal the Frost’s true financial circumstances. Brown’s follow-up piece is a blatant attempt to cover his ass.

If Democrats and the left want to use children as canon fodder to distract from their flawed positions, fine. However, it is entirely dishonest for the Democrats and the lefty bloggers to cry foul when they are called on it. Free speech is not an entitlement for your positions go unchallenged. Accusing your political opponents of harassment and intimidation for responding is even more dishonest, and they know it.

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