We May Be Able To Run Against Bush In '08 After All
by Jeff Dinelli
The plan by the goofballs running for the Republican nomination was to stay as far away from George W. Bush as possible, but it seems at every turn they can't help themselves from goose-stepping right in line with The Decider. Latest example is their seemingly unanimous approval of Bush's "4 Million Kids Left Behind" veto on SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program).
"The four leading Republican presidential candidates have aligned themselves with President Bush's veto on Wednesday of an expanded health insurance program for children, once again testing the political risk of appearing in lock step with a president who has low approval ratings and some critics of the veto within their party."
This actually is a good move for these guys since, while most Americans approve of expanding and improving SCHIP, those most likely to vote Republican are, shockingly, against the idea.
"As for the children's insurance veto, the candidates, in aligning with Mr. Bush, are mindful of the concerns of fiscal conservatives that expanding the program could result in huge future costs. Unlike with Iraq or Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Bush's capacity to be a drag on the candidates' fortunes is smaller on the insurance veto, Republican analysts say, because the veto is not especially unpopular with Republican primary voters. They are the current target audience for the candidates, according to their campaign advisers, so the electoral gamble of supporting the veto -- if not Mr. Bush -- is relatively modest at this point."
Now with all three leading Democratic candidates wielding good universal health care plans, at the very least indicating their interest in the topic very much on voters' minds, the Republicans probably won't be crowing about this position in the general election. But then again, there's always Mitt Romney, who is trying to erase history by running as far away from his Massachusetts plan as physically possible. Check out his website:
"I agree with the President that this legislation – while well intentioned – took the wrong approach. The Democrat SCHIP expansion bill would take children out of private insurance and put them into government insurance. It was a flawed approach. The right course is to get all children and all citizens insured with private, market-based health insurance."
So it shouldn't be difficult for our candidate to use all this to say, "Look, you really want this ideological callousness to continue? Do you really want to essentially vote for a third term for George W. Bush?" As Paul Krugman points out, these guys are all sucklings from the Reagan tit:
Ronald Reagan thought the issue of hunger in the world’s richest nation was nothing but a big joke. Here’s what Reagan said in his famous 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing,” which made him a national political figure: “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”
Conservatives even think it's pretty funny. The Weekly Standard's William Kristol, getting all pumped up for the coming veto, said, "First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the president’s willing to do something bad for the kids."
"Most conservatives are more careful than Mr. Kristol. They try to preserve the appearance that they really do care about those less fortunate than themselves. But the truth is that they aren’t bothered by the fact that almost nine million children in America lack health insurance. They don’t think it’s a problem.
“I mean, people have access to health care in America,” said Mr. Bush in July. “After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
And you know something? I don't think this is an act. I think this is modern conservatism, where there's no room on the bus for anyone who identifies with the needy, the sick, the poor. The bus is too jam-packed full of jerkoffs who get off on delivering tax cuts to the rich and ridiculing, laughing, at those millions of Americans in need.
And if the Democrats don't win this election, it'll be Pete Townshend time: "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss."