Monday, October 15, 2007


So what did we learn from all the bruising Frost family saga? Evidently, nothing. This post on the Republicans begins with this clause:

"With the party taking a bit of a beating over its resistance to expanding access to healthcare for low-income children ..."

But if there was anything substantive that came out of last week's war, it was that the Democrats' proposed SCHIP expansion would include families in the middle class:

[T]he Frost family owned two properties, as well as a couple cars, and had a $45,000 income. The accusation against Democrats, and by extension the Frost family, is that they are too middle class to be granted any subsidized health insurance for their children.

Now you can argue fairly whether middle-class families ought to have such guaranteed insurance, or whether this is just a way to accomplish universal government health coverage incrementally. But to pretend it's only about poor kids is dishonest. The Democrats hold the advantage at the moment, but they already risk it with a typical bonehead play: Talking to the middle class and lumping it in with the poor. John Kerry did that all the time. I suppose when you stand atop a pile of cash as big as Kerry's, there doesn't appear to be much difference between a family making $30,000 a year and one making $70,000. But there is a vast difference in the minds of middle-class Americans. You start telling them they're in the same situation as the poor, and you're going to lose them real fast. Which is how the Democrats tend to do it.