Graeme Frost and S-CHIP
Karen Tumulty of Time writes about the right-wing smearing of twelve year old Graeme Frost--without, however, inquiring into the role of the office of Senator McConnell (R-Kentucky), Rush Limbaugh, cable-TV personality Michelle Malkin and other slime machine tools of the Republican leadership. And without pointing out that this has been standard Republican Party operating procedure since before Satan mated with Cthulhu and hatched Richard Nixon.
And Time's editors hedge their bets with the headline "The Swift-Boating of Graeme Frost": for the 30% Republican dead-enders, "swift-boating" is, as Marcia Stewart says, a good thing.
Here is the story:
The Swift-Boating of Graeme Frost - TIME: If you listen closely to the two-minute radio address that 12-year-old Graeme Frost delivered last week for the Democrats, you can hear the lingering effects of the 2004 car crash that put him into a coma for a week and left one of his vocal chords paralyzed. "Most kids my age probably haven't heard of CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program," he says in a voice that sounds weak and stressed. "But I know all about it, because if it weren't for CHIP, I might not be here today."... [A] Category 5 hurricane.... Mark Steyn wrote on National Review Online: "Bad things happen to good people, and they cause financial problems and tough choices. But, if this is the face of the 'needy' in America, then no one is not needy."...
[N]ot everything about the Frosts' life pops up on a Google search. While Graeme does attend a private school, he does so on scholarship. Halsey Frost is a self-employed woodworker; he and his wife say they earn between $45,000 and $50,000 a year to provide for their family of six. Their 1936 rowhouse was purchased in 1990 for $55,000. It was vacant and in a run-down neighborhood that has improved since then, in part because of people like themselves who took a chance. It is now assessed at $263,140, though under state law the value of that asset is not taken into account in determining their eligibility for SCHIP. And while they are still uninsured, they claim it is most certainly not by choice. Bonnie Frost says the last time she priced health coverage, she learned it would cost them $1,200 a month. In short, just as the radio spot claimed, the Frosts are precisely the kind of people that the SCHIP program was intended to help....
Halsey did have this to say in an e-mail to me:
My son Graeme has helped put on a human face, that of a young boy, representing the needs of children and families across this nation. We are a hard working family that has stepped forward to support SCHIP. Mudslinging from the fringe has now been directed at the messenger. To be smeared all over the Internet and receive nasty e-mail — my family does not deserve this retribution. It is both shameful and pathetic.
Driven by a most dubious agenda, shortsighted cut-and-paste bloggers, lacking all the facts, have made a feeble attempt at being crack reporters. This is an aberrant attempt to distract the American people from what the real issues are. Hard working American families need affordable health insurance.
I find it morally reprehensible, and the act of a true coward, to publicly (world wide) smear a man and his family and not sign one's own real name to what they have written. I sign my name to what I write.
Dunne's fictional saloonkeeper Martin Dooley observed that women, children and prohibitionists would do well to stay out of it, because "politics ain't beanbag." But surely, even Mr. Dooley could never have imagined a day would come when a mere seventh grader could be swift-boated.