From The Courier-Journal:
Take Sen. Mitch McConnell. His office was caught trying to promote the smear of a Baltimore family, when brain-injured 12-year-old Graeme Frost spoke up for the State Children’s Health Care Insurance Program, which helped when he and his little sister were badly injured in an accident.
McConnell aide Don Stewart alerted reporters by e-mail that “bloggers have done a little digging” and turned up evidence the family might not be a legitimate SCHIP user. Hours later he sent another e-mail saying a blogger he trusted had concluded “the family is legit.”
Stewart told McConnell all of this, yet the senator, when asked about the e-mails, said that “there was no involvement whatsoever” by his office.
When this example of disinformation was exposed, did McConnell turn red with embarrassment? Did he apologize? Did he promise to caution Stewart about premature and potentially hurtful attempts at manipulating the news? Did he express regret over the role Republicans may have played in the smears and death threats directed at Graeme and his family by right-wing bloggers?
As far as I know, he hasn’t even blushed.
No premature coloration that might suggest he was weak or susceptible to attack.
(article quoting Ezra Klein:)
“This is not politics. This is, in symbolism and emotion, a violent group ritual. It is savages tearing at the body of a captured enemy. It is the group reminding itself that the Other is always disingenuous, always evil, always lying, always pitiful and pathetic and grotesque. It is a bonding experience — the collaborative nature of these hateful orgies proves that much — in which the enemy is exposed as base and vile and then ripped apart by the community. In that way, it sustains itself, each attack pre-emptively justifying the next assault, justifying the whole hateful edifice on which their politics rest.”
My question is, can’t politics be better than this?
We do a better job of improving our livestock than our elected officials.
From the AFL-CIO Blog:
Republicans in Washington have had their hands dirtied by plenty of scandals in recent months, but this latest action has to rank among the lowest. In an effort to beat back full funding for children’s health care, the staff of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supported a smear campaign against a 12-year-old survivor of a car crash.
Reactionary bloggers spent several days harassing the family and looking for “proof” the Frosts were too wealthy to “deserve” SCHIP. Over several days, these bloggers—including Fox News correspondent Michelle Malkin—made unfounded, speculative claims about Graeme Frost and his family, staked out their house and questioned their neighbors and posted photos of the Frost family’s home online.
While the national media picked up and passed on the lies and false assertions from these blogs, they have not been so quick to let the public know the extent of McConnell’s involvement.
Think Progress uncovered the involvement of McConnell’s staff in furthering the smear campaign. Think Progress obtained an e-mail sent to reporters by McConnell’s communications director, Don Stewart, in which he touted the claims the extremist bloggers made about the Frost family. (Stewart later sent an e-mail to the same reporters, acknowledging the accusations about the Frosts didn’t stand up to scrutiny.)
Stewart sent the e-mail Monday, Oct. 8. As word spread that McConnell may have had a hand in pushing the attacks on Frost and his family, McConnell went into denial mode. That Thursday, McConnell told Louisville’s WHAS-TV that his staff had “no involvement” in the anti-Frost campaign. Yet McConnell knew this wasn’t true when he said it.
Ditch Mitch, a Kentucky blog, posted a video of McConnell lying to reporters about his staff’s involvement in the smear campaign. Other Kentucky blogs, like Bluegrassroots, Bluegrass Report and Page One Kentucky, are keeping up the pressure on McConnell.
Two of McConnell’s home-state papers have criticized him for his role in the smear campaign and his attempt to cover it up. The Lexington Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal condemned McConnell and his staff in strongly worded editorials.
McConnell and the Republican media machine that pushed these attacks should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, as the failure to override Bush’s SCHIP veto shows, McConnell and his allies seem incapable of shame.