October 10, 2007

Even for them, this is over the top

You may not know that for the past two weeks the family of the 12-year-old boy who gave the Democratic response to Bush's radio address on September 29 justifying his veto of the SCHIP program has been subject to virulent attack from the Republican party and its far-right allies.

In recent days, Graeme and his family have been attacked by conservative bloggers and other critics of the Democrats’ plan to expand the insurance program, known as S-chip. They scrutinized the family’s income and assets — even alleged the counters in their kitchen to be granite — and declared that the Frosts did not seem needy enough for government benefits.


The critics accused Graeme’s father, Halsey, a self-employed woodworker, of choosing not to provide insurance for his family of six, even though he owned his own business. They pointed out that Graeme attends an expensive private school. And they asserted that the family’s home had undergone extensive remodeling, and that its market value could exceed $400,000.

One critic, in an e-mail message to Graeme’s mother, Bonnie, warned: “Lie down with dogs, and expect to get fleas.” As it turns out, the Frosts say, Graeme attends the private school on scholarship. The business that the critics said Mr. Frost owned was dissolved in 1999. The family’s home, in the modest Butchers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, was bought for $55,000 in 1990 and is now worth about $260,000, according to public records. And, for the record, the Frosts say, their kitchen counters are concrete.

Ezra Klein has a question for the attackers which echoes Joseph Welch's query for Senator Joe McCarthy: "Have you no decency, sir?"
They say they've spent the past week smearing a child and his family because that child was fair game -- he and his family spoke of their experience receiving health care through the State Children's Health Insurance Program. For this, right wingers travel to their home, insinuate that the family is engaged in large-scale fraud, make threatening phone calls to the family, interrogate the neighbors as to the family's character and financial state.

Well, in words of one syllable, no, they have no decency. They are past masters of the politics of personal destruction; they don't dare argue the merits of a policy because they know public opinion is against them, so they attempt to destroy the credibility of the person or people advocating the policy.

Michelle Malkin and her compatriots are not just misguided people who have differing opinions about policy; they are fascists. Their tactics are reminiscent of those found in any authoritarian movement; destroy the Other, where Other represents anyone who doesn't agree with the leader's view.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 10, 2007 09:16 AM | TrackBack

I am shocked, shocked, to find that there is no decency in them.

Posted by: Serge at October 10, 2007 03:19 PM