Timid Democrats, v2

As a commenter (OK, the commenter) pointed out yesterday, SCHIP and other state plans to cover children are worthy of support, but…

…I’d be happier if they were financed by general contribution. We all have a responsibility here.

Exactly. We all have a responsibility here. How is it that the GOP dominates the “values and responsibility” debate when they refuse to take responsibility for anyone beyond their friends and family? Although they–and we–owe much of our life, liberty, and happiness to the fact that we won the birth lottery (ie, we are citizens of America, not Sudan), the GOP position is “I owe nothing to my fellow citizens; I owe even less to my fellow humans. Screw everyone else. You’re on your own.”

This is a statement of values?

OK, maybe I’m overstating. The “1000 points of light” Bush talked about certainly do a lot of good work, but still, why is there so little responsibility felt toward fellow citizens? Or so little sense that all citizens have rights to certain basics of life?

But, back to my Timid Democrats theme. To quote myself:

If Dems had any huevos they’d send up a bill to Bush right NOW expanding Medicare to all children. Screw the means test of SCHIP. Let Bush veto THAT bill, and let conservatives defend it. What are they going to say? Medicare is a great program for the old but not the young?

This should be a great moment for the Dems. In the SCHIP debate, they have landed a blow. Bush and the GOP have been outed. Although they deny it for political reasons, they hate government sponsored, universal insurance like Medicare. Since they would deny it to children on what basis do they defend it for the elderly? They are on record for that position! The Democrats should attack. NOW.

If this were a boxing match (which increasingly looks like a good metaphor for politics), there would be no question; you’re opponent has taken a shot. Move in. Take him out!

Not the current Democratic Party. Oh, gee whiz, they say, what if they called me a name…

This is exactly how we got into Iraq and might get into Iran.  Many Democrats knew better, but were terrified of calling the GOP flim-flammery for what it is. They were intimidated and still are.  It’s an astonishing spectacle. Think about it. Bush and the radical right took a huge risk by invading Iraq because they claimed Iraq posed an existential threat to America. It turns out that precisely none of those claims were true. Commonsense would tell us that Bush would be in deep do-do over that misjudgment. But no. He simply brazens it out. Calls everyone who questions him a liar and traitor. Rhetorically speaking, he ups the ante. Dems, fearing a backlash, back off, and Bush wins again.

The GOP Emperor has no clothes, but the Dems are still cautious and fearful of pointing it out. This is why American soldiers are still trying to supervise a mindless civil war in Iraq, and why American children are not guaranteed health care.


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