Predictable liberal reaction of the week: Bush is “fanatically anti-child” to veto the expansion of SCHIP

As predicted, the left is using Bush’s veto of expanding SCHIP as an excuse to demagogue Republicans as heartless jerks who don’t care about kids. Prime example: The hinges have come off the normally sane liberal Matthew Yglesias. In a post titled “Child-Haters” he fumes :

I was trying to think of something to say about George W. Bush’s decision to veto S-CHIP expansion and reauthorization that would move beyond accusing him of callous lack of concern for the well-being of children, but there’s not that much to say. Greg Mankiw on his blog posted a highbrow version of the case against expansion and it seems that, basically, George W. Bush hates children. Or, rather, I guess that the official Bad Aspects of this effort to help children is that the bill will, allegedly, also crowd some people out of private sector insurance.

This, though, is a good thing to do.

The bill would also raise cigarette taxes, which, again, is a good thing to do since higher cigarette taxes cause either more revenue (a good thing) or else less smoking (a good thing) or else some combination of these two good things. Even Megan McArdle who hates children enough to oppose this policy can’t figure out why Bush would be so fanatically anti-child as to take big political risks on this of all subjects.

Sounds like he’s taken his cue from ABC News, doesn’t it?

In any event, Yglesias’ argument about the cigarette tax is rather interesting. To him, it’s a “good thing” either way, because if more people smoke, the more cigarette taxes would be used to pay for the expansion of SCHIP. So in this case, more smoking would actually be (gasp!) a “good thing” in the grand scheme of things because it supposedly would “help the children” – even though Matt surely is very familiar with the war on cigarettes and tobacco companies his side of the aisle has been waging for the last 15 years or so, and the claims made by the anti-tobacco crowd about the health risks associated with smoking. But I guess when it comes to “saving the children” the health of cigarette smokers is a sacrifice worth making (bear with me – I’m trying to think like a liberal here ;) ). Bbbbut he argues on the other hand if the higher cigarette taxes caused people to stop smoking, well, then that would be a good thing, too.

I’m trying to figure out from Matt’s conflicting position on the issue of raising cigarette taxes to pay for the funding of the expansion of SCHIP whether or not he hates cigarette smokers. I mean, after all, if part of him is ok with more people lighting up cigarettes (because it supposedly would benefit a “good cause,” you see), then doesn’t that sorta kinda make him a hater of cigarette smokers? I mean, if Bush’s vetoing of the SCHIP bill is supposed to be an indication that he “hates kids,” then Yglesia’s belief that it would be ok if more people smoked because it would help pay for the expansion of SCHIP must surely mean that he hates cigarette smokers?

Hey, I’m just trying to follow the logic …


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