The irony of the last couple of weeks is that the debate over the State's Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was supposed to be one of the easy ones. Way back in July, the WaPo's
Christopher Lee noted
, "If anything looked like a sure thing in the new Congress, it was that lawmakers would renew, and probably expand, the popular, decade-old State Children's Health Insurance Program before it expires this year."
It was a no-brainer. Dems and Republicans reached a compromise version, which drew praise from governors, the medical community, and children's advocates. Of all the bills likely to spark a political war, this was going to be at the bottom of the list.
And yet, here we are. S-CHIP garnered an inexplicable veto, the right is smearing a 12-year-old kid and his family, and Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee are issuing breathtaking press releases like this one
Republican Senate hopeful Montgomery Burns today joined with Mayor Joe Quimby, D-Springfield, to support the Senate's gazillion-dollar SCHIP bill.
"If the poor children can get a piece of the action, why can't I?" explained Burns at a MoveOn.org rally in Capital City. "The little darlings are needy? Me, too. I need somebody to pay. Quimby here says he knows a bunch of low-income nobodies who are ripe for the picking. Excellent."
"You need this?" wondered the mayor. "Well, why not. I've got needs, too. Why, I've got 27 paternity suits pending and to quote the Speaker, 'suffer the little children.' The Quimby Compound is overflowing with those little sufferers. Vote Quimby."
It actually gets worse from there, including multiple references to MoveOn.org and "rental children."
Bill Scher speculates
that maybe the Energy and Commerce Committee GOP's site got hacked, which seems reasonable given that committee staffers usually don't go out of their way to appear this foolish