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What Is Wrong With You?!?


The difference between the far right wing and the far left wing:  the far right will do anything — anything — so long as the ends justifies the means.  The far left folks have ethical boundaries that they try very hard not to cross:  things like attacking other people’s minor children is bad form, let alone harassing a family that includes a child with severe brain damage from an auto accident.  Those ethical lines?  Non-existent for today’s wingnut wurlitzer:

Conservatives have more recently turned their targets on young Graeme Frost himself. A poster at the Free Republic propagated information alleging that Frost was actually a rich kid being pampered by the government. Among other bits of information, the post by the Freeper “icwhatudo” asserts that Graeme and his sister Gemma attend wealthy schools that cost “nearly $40,000 per year for tuition” and live in a well-off home.

The smear attack against Graeme has taken firm hold in the right-wing blogosphere. The National Review, Michelle Malkin, Wizbang, Powerline, and the Weekly Standard blog have all launched assaults on the Frost family….

Desperate to defend Bush’s decision to cut off millions of children from health care, the right wing has stooped to launching baseless and uninformed attacks against a 12 year old child and his family.

Right wing bloggers have been harassing the Frosts, calling their home numerous times to get information about their private lives. Compassionate conservatism indeed.

UPDATE: TP commenter Mr. Ed notes that Malkin visited the Frost’s home and business today. A coworker of Mr. Frost tells Malkin that the family is “struggling,” but she refuses to believe it.

Here’s a truth…honestly.  If the folks who run Powerline or Michelle Malkin or any of these other folks had a child in danger and contacted me to ask about what they should do to contact authorities or protect their child, I would help them in a heartbeat.  Hell, I’d probably try to save the kid from a speeding bus if my auto-immune-achy limbs could move fast enough.  Because that is what compassionate people who care about childrens’ well-being do.  

Compassionate people don’t attack kids who desperately need help — they help them.   It is human instinct at its basest level — ask any good parent (who isn’t involved in an abuse and neglect case, since I’ve seen far too many of those in my lifetime to know that some parents don’t have this trait) about the ache they feel when their child cries out in the night.  Hell, ask any person with a heart if they wouldn’t do whatever it took to help a child in need, and see you don’t get “yes, what can I do to help?” as your answer.

Why are all these high traffic wingnut blogs (and far right Fox News) attacking this 12 year old boy and his family?  This may well be the lamest excuse I have ever heard in my life for attacking two children who were severely injured in a car accident and their parents who couldn’t afford health insurance for them.  I mean honestly, this propaganda fishing expedition disguised as “questions” doesn’t pass the smell test, and Malkin and her cronies know it:

Asking questions and subjecting political anecdotes to scrutiny are what journalists should be doing.

First of all, you weren’t scrutinizing, you were harassing the family at their place of business and their home, and then you kept on harassing them and egged your readers to do the same.  Your gin up a phony distraction from your bad press because “the GOP doesn’t care about poor children” conservative bloggers and pundits decided that the ends justifies the means in cleaning up after George Bush’s latest mess — even if it meant sacrificing the daily lives of a couple of injured children in the fray.   Secondly, you weren’t even close to following the code of ethics that professional journalists require in this situation to “minimize harm,” so you can call yourself the ethically-challenged political hacks that you are and be done with it. 

None of you political hatchet cronies give a rat’s ass about minimizing harm for these children, one of whom suffered a severe brain injury in the car accident and can’t possibly fight back against this crass, thoughtless tactic.  And on top of that, you are liars.  ThinkProgress has all the fetid details.  (Warning for parents or people with ethics:  this will piss you off.) 

Here are the facts that the right-wing distorted in order to attack young Graeme:

1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.

3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

4) Last year, the Frost’s made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program

Compassionate conservatism and family values, my ass.  Let me get this straight:  this family has tried to better themselves at every turn, they love their children, they are getting these kids the best education possible through some amazing scholarships and intervention service help to try and help them improve and perhaps have some semblance of a childhood to progress as much as possible past their injuries, they are facing catastrophic medical bills, they want to save their kids — whatever it takes…and the right wing has a problem with that.  Telling, isn’t it? As Digby says:

This is so loathesome I am literally sick to my stomach. These kids were hurt in a car accident. Their parents could not afford health insurance — and sure as hell couldn’t get it now with a severely handicapped daughter. And these shrieking wingnut jackasses are harassing their family for publicly supporting the program that allowed the kids to get health care. A program, by the way, which a large number of these Republicans support as well.

They went after Michael J. Fox. They went after a wounded Iraq war veteran. Now they are going after handicapped kids. There is obviously no limit to how low these people will go.

News flash: a whole lot of people in America can’t afford health insurance, and they don’t have the padded retirement accounts, the family money, the hubby’s 401(K) or wingnut welfare to draw upon when life hands them a child with severe brain damage and another child fighting his way back to health after an accident devastates the whole family.  They don’t live in a cookie-cutter McMansion and they have to work their asses off for everything they have and then some rather than having it handed to them by the Scaife Foundation.  It’s called hard work and the American dream and last I checked that was a very good thing for anyone willing to work for it.

The worst part of this in my mind:  a number of the bloggers above attacking these kids are parents.  I know this, because I’ve spoken with them on occasion and we’ve talked about kids and family and life, and outside their “bloggy” personas, they seem to care about their own kids.  I would never, ever sanction anyone attacking these people’s kids — any more than I would allow it for my own — because it is just plain wrong.  It’s too bad that other people’s children who deserve nothing less than the same decency and care — and compassion for what they have been through already in their young lives that these people would expect for their own children  — are the targets of the day, isn’t it? 

I’ll be waiting for that Howie Kurtz expose on fact-challenged right wing accusations of shame…but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com