There's been plenty of conservative dishonesty during the debate over expanding children's health insurance. But every so often, conservative honesty speaks up loud and clear, and helps us make an informed choice between two visions for America.
Refusing to be intimidated by the attack of the Frosts, the Wilkersons featured their two-year old Bethany, who was born with a heart defect, in a new ad supporting SCHIP expansion.
The National Review's Mark Hemingway participated in a conference call with the family, and reacts thusly:
On the conference call, Dara admitted to me that she and Brian had been talking about having children since before they were married. She further admitted that after they were married she voluntarily left a job at a country club that had good health insurance, because the situation was "unmanageable." From there she took a job at a restaurant with no health insurance, and the couple went on to have a baby anyway, presuming that others would pay for it and certainly long before they knew their daughter would have heart defect that probably cost the gross national product of Burkina Faso to fix. But not knowing about future health problems is the reason we have insurance in the first place.
In the conservative vision for America, the only people who should choose to have children are people that can afford health insurance. Or in other words: "Pro-Life (If You Can Pay For It)."
Now, pause for a second. Are you reading this at your computer at work, in a job that you don't particularly care for or even downright detest because you have a spouse and child that depend on you? You wouldn't be the first or last person to make that choice.
In the conservative vision for America, if you feel trapped in job you hate, congratulations! You've achieved the American Dream! Declare victory and get back to your misery.
For Dara and Brian Wilkerson, the fact that they don't have health insurance is less about falling through the cracks than the decisions they've made. We know that Dara is at least capable of getting a job with insurance -- so why does she not have one now?
Uh, maybe because it's getting harder and harder to get a job with decent benefits?
That may be hard to Hemingway to accept, if he buys the conservative line that our economy is as strong as ever. But facts are facts -- at least, outside of ConservativeWorld.
The honest conservative response to seeing the struggles of working class Americans is to mock them.
And the more honest conservatives are about their cold and callous vision for America, the easier it will be for American voters to make informed decisions about where we should go as a nation.
It's time to make a choice about children's health insurance. Tell your representative: override the veto.
An earlier, slightly different version of the above was originally posted at the Campaign for America's Future blog.