Sunday, October 14, 2007

Poster child hypocrisy

There are many politicians or policy experts that the Democrats could have selected to reply to Pres. Geo. Bush's radio address on the SCHIP government health care program. Instead, the Democrat party chose as their spokesperson as 12-year boy named Graeme Frost from a family with a tragic story. They chose this boy and the Frost family agreed to have him speak so that, as E. J. Dionne wrote, "the public would know that real people lie behind the [SCHIPS] acronym." This might have been good politics except that they apparently did not check out the family's story. With a 3,000 square foot house, four children in private school, and substantial real estate investments, the family does not meet a normal person's idea of an impoverished family in need of government welfare. Instead, the Frost family appears to support Pres. Bush's claim that too much of SCHIPS money is being diverted to the middle class rather than the poor who are in genuine need.

Rather than admitting that the Democrats didn't do their homework on this one, Speaker Pelosi claims that anyone who questions the Democrats's story is "attack[ing] a 12-year-old." E. J. Dionne charges that "the right" is "attacking the Frost family." The Democrats act as if their use of Graeme is their shield against any questioning of their policy recommendations. There is some hypocrisy in this because many prominent Democratic blogs did make personal attacks a kid that the Republicans had used as a poster child.

The attacks lack any semblance of logic. Consider E. J. Dionne:
Most conservatives favor government-supported vouchers that would help Graeme attend his private school, but here they turn around and criticize him for . . . attending a private school.
No one is criticizing the boy for attending private school. They are critizing the Maryand SCHIPs program for providing welfare to a family that has the resources to send their children to private schools. E. J. Dionne goes on to claim:
[C]onservatives tell us how much they love homeownership, and then assail the Frosts for having the nerve to own a home. I suppose they should have to sell that, too.
Again, no one is "assail[ing] the Frosts" for having the resources to have multiple real-estate investments with an 'assessed' value of $460,000. (Depending on local rules, market values are often much larger than 'assessed' values.) Conservatives question whether the government should be giving such people welfare.

The consistent feature in these arguments is self-delusion: the response to an honest argument is create an alternate world in which those arguments don't exist. Rather than defend welfare for the middle-class, they claim that "meanies" are "attacking" a child. This may provide E. J. Dionne and others with comfort but it is not the response expected of mature adults.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics