Ever the statesman, Senator Kit Bond is now, in the wake of the failure to override Bush’s SCHIP veto, urging compromise. He has signed a letter to congressional leaders, urging consensus.
Bond surprised me by voting for the bill in the first place and urging Bush not to veto it:
“SCHIP is a valuable safety net for needy children in families who don’t have the means to purchase affordable health care. Millions of children receive the vital well-child and preventative care, vaccinations, and emergency care they need to grow, learn and thrive thanks to the SCHIP Program. I am proud of my votes to create SCHIP in 1997 and to reauthorize the program today.”
Can this be the Kit Bond we know and love to hate? Having seen him be such a Republican for his entire career and such a godawful one under Bush, it’s not easy for me to believe he has any good impulses at all. One part of me interprets his actions in the most cynical light: he knows what a loser voting no on SCHIP is and knew it from the beginning. See? No need to give him any credit for humanitarian concerns.
But in general he isn’t smart enough to back away from losing policies. He still supports Bush’s addle pated policy in Iraq. So I have to say, that he might be acting on conscience here. Even if he’s not, at least he’s smarter than Sam Graves, Todd Akin, Roy Blunt and Kenny Hulshof.
Certainly he’d like compromise because it would make Republicans look less like monsters. But it is possible that he feels uneasy about depriving millions of kids of health care. Just sayin’.
Still, even if Bond’s concern is genuine, I’ll bet he wouldn’t approve of this snarky video. In it, a comedian impersonates a smug George Bush, in all his malapropistic glory, gloating about the SCHIP veto.
Somewhat overshadowed this past week by the FISA discussion, the vetoed SCHIP bill will be subjected to an override vote by Congress on Thursday, the 18th. Whether or not the Presidential Veto will be sustained remains unclear.
But what is very clear is that there are a lot of twitchy Republicans in the press and on national TV valiantly arguing their talking point in the earnest hope that they can bamboozle their constituents one more time. They don’t mind getting down and dirty either. You may recall the case of 12-year-old Graeme Frost, the brain injured child who delivered the Democratic response to one of the Decider’s weekly radio addresses. Frost and his sister, who were injured in a car accident, still need physical therapy. Both are covered by SCHIP in Maryland. The right wing thought they had glimpsed Nirvana, both kids in private schools (scholarships) and a home in a newly gentrified neighborhood. Led by principled stalwarts, Malkin and Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell’s office took up the cry, only to have to back off as the case fell apart. Turned out that the parents have combined incomes of $45,000 per annum. Prior to the accident they might have purchased insurance for $14,500 a year, after the accident no insurance would cover them. And then in Maryland, SCHIP covers kids from families with incomes under 200% of poverty, $55,220, so the Frosts definitely qualify.
Republicans are also cheesed off at the Decider’s lack of interest in consultation when the compromise bill was being written. It was perceived that he had already made up his mind and had no interest in further exploration. Now he offers to compromise without offering anything concrete to describe a compromise position that he would endorse. In the words of Nancy Pelosi this AM on ABC, “Mr. Bush sincerely believes that the meaning of the word compromise means do it his way”.
According to a NYT editorial piece, the Republican response to the bill is being driven by The Decider’s Assertion that to expand SCHIP is a step toward “government run health insurance”. Speaking of double standards and utter hypocrisy, do they not know that they are covered by government run health insurance”, that their children are covered by “government run health insurance”? And adding insult to injury, their premiums are paid for by tax dollars from the very families for whom they would deny SCHIP benefits. Deliver me!
Even more distasteful, if that is possible, the Christus Medicus Foundation, a catholic right wing organization focusing on “sanctity of life issues” is worried that SCHIP dollars are going into family planning, contraception and sterilization programs. They conclude:
Teenage females can be signed up for a CHIP program by schools family planning organizations and social services organizations and be give contraception, abortions and in some cases even be sterilized without parent’s knowledge or consent. State and federal tax dollars are violating Health Care Right Of Conscience by forcing Americans to subsidize the undermining of the parent/child relationship.
Well! Health care for near poor children has suddenly become a reproductive issue. I am curious as to just how many people worship in their tent of disinformation.
The AFL-CIO, Move-On.org and Americans United for Change are but a few of the organizations stepping up to champion SCHIP. The DNCC has targeted eight vulnerable Republican veto supporters in their home districts with radio ads opposing their positions. Our Sam Graves is one of them. Democrats are adamant regarding a compromise with the Decider. They say that they have already compromised, having chosen the less expansive Senate version of the bill as a model for the compromise bill vetoed by the Decider.
Nancy Pelosi is reported as “cautiously optimistic” that she will peel off an additional 15-20 votes to support a veto.
Our mission in MO, should we choose to accept it, is to discourage the following MO members of the US House from voting to sustain the Presidential Veto. They are Sam Graves, Roy Blunt, Todd Akin, and Kenny Hulsof. Tell them that the Democrats will gain politically if the veto is blocked. Tell them that you’ll “remember in November” (08) when we liberals don’t have poor George to kick around anymore. Tell them to just do the right thing!