Right-wing bullies pick on children

The wingnuts are savaging 12-year-old Graeme Frost and his family because they don't think he should get healthcare through SCHIP.

Published October 9, 2007 10:20PM (EDT)

These people are crazy.

The right wing has been smearing 12-year-old Graeme Frost, who lauded the State Children's Health Insurance Program vetoed by President Bush last week. Graeme and his sister used the program after they were in an SUV accident -- his sister suffered a lasting brain injury -- and now wingnuts have decided his family should never have been eligible. His parents earn roughly $50,000 a year, but apparently own a commercial property as well as a modest home, and Graeme and his sister attend private schools (Graeme on scholarship, his sister with state support due to her disability). The right-wing blogosphere is depicting the Frosts as privileged lefties sponging off taxpayers.

Rush Limbaugh, clearly back on the pain meds, is comparing Graeme to the so-called phony soldiers who oppose the Iraq war. "They send the kid out to lie," Limbaugh claimed. "They filled this kid's head with lies just as they have some of these soldiers about me." Stalker Michelle Malkin actually visited the commercial building owned by Graeme's father and talked to another tenant, who confirmed that the family is struggling, but because the man seems to support what she calls "socialized medicine," Malkin seems to discount his views. The busy, busy Malkin also drove by the Frosts' modest row house and spied a "1-20-09" bumper sticker on the door. Enough said. Malkin is extremely proud of herself for working so hard. "Asking questions and subjecting political anecdotes to scrutiny are what journalists should be doing," she huffed on her blog.

Other righty bloggers have been equally busy poking into the Frosts' business. One claimed to have priced health insurance, and they insist the parents were lying when it said private insurance would have cost the family of six $1,200 a month. Dan Riehl found out the boy's grandfather has donated money to Princeton and says his failure to pay for his grandkids' health insurance means either he's selfish or he decided his son is a "loser" and "cut him off."

Big bad Mark Steyn said Graeme is fair game because he's being used by Democrats, and insists that if his son ever joins a political cause we should all feel free to brutalize the seven-year-old the same way. But that's unlikely. Atrios notes that nobody went after nine-year-old Noah McCullough when Bush made him a poster boy for privatizing Social Security.

Only wingnuts are unhinged enough to brutalize children who disagree with them politically, and they're doing it this time because they know they're on the losing side of this issue, politically and morally. One of SCHIP's biggest sponsors is that well-known socialist Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, a Republican. The program's expansion has enormous bipartisan support in Congress and in Republican statehouses around the country. But the president has already shown he'll destroy his party to protect his corporate friends, whether private security contractors in Iraq or the insurance industry here at home. He's lucky to have such devoted attack dogs, happy to sink their teeth into Graeme Frost, so he doesn't have to attack the boy personally, just indirectly by vetoing SCHIP. What a crew of cowards and bullies!

By Joan Walsh

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George W. Bush Republican Party Rush Limbaugh