The NRO's Mark Hemingway begins the attacks today:
While USAction and a labyrinthine maze of leftist activist groups prepare to rally around images of Tampa Bay’s Most Photogenic Baby holding up a crayon sign that says “Don’t Veto Me,” Dara and Brian Wilkerson are real poster children — for irresponsible decisions.
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.
Mark Hemingway is here to tell you how and when and why and under what circumstances you will have a child.
Mark Hemingway is here to tell you what you will talk about with your partner before marriage. It will not be about babies.
Mark Hemingway will tell you where you will work. You "voluntarily left a job ... that had good health insurance, because the situation was 'unmanageable'"? Too bad. You can't have a baby. If you have had one, you are guilty of making an "irresponsible decision," and you do not deserve public assistance if that baby becomes sick. You were irresponsible. The baby must die. Also: you will be publicly derided for your irresponsible decisions. And you will be investigated. We will look in your garbage cans. We will find out how much your underwear is worth.
We will compare you to Mark Hemingway.
Mark Hemingway will say this:
We know that Dara is at least capable of getting a job with insurance — so why does she not have one now?
This is not about whether or not your child needed public assistance to continue living. This is about you answering Mark Hemingway's questions. You must answer his questions about your moral character and your worthiness as a human being.
Even if it is difficult insure her child’s pre-existing condition, what about her and her husband’s health? Perhaps it’s rude to ask that question, but I think it’s rude to accept huge amounts of public assistance and then express gratitude by asking taxpayers to extend a Children’s health program to cover college-age kids who come from households making more than $80,000 a year.
Mark Hemingway will not always make sense. He will lose his way. He will become nonsensical, childish, and pouty. This is no matter. You must respond.
1) "What about you and your husband's health?" (Mark Hemingway cares about you. Let the baby die.)
2) "Did you call me rude? [No.] Well I think YOU'RE rude. You get SCHIP assistance and your baby doesn't die and you're like - 'Woo hoo! Go SCHIP assistance!' That is so rude!"
3) "What about XXX? Huh? Huh? That is REALLY rude." (XXX refers to Mark Hemingway at this point, in accordance with the NRO template, dropping in unsourced, distorting, and already well-circulated talking points regarding his argument. The talking points in this case: "...asking taxpayers to extend a Children’s health program to cover college-age kids who come from households making more than $80,000 a year." See comments here on that.)
The big finish:
Which brings us to another salient point — Bethany Wilkerson is healthy. She is covered by existing programs and has already received the much [sic] of the medical care she needs. The current debate centers on expanding the program, not kicking the Frosts and the Wilkersons to the curb.
Again: Mark Hemingway will not always make sense. He will run back over his own argument like a drunk on a bulldozer, again and again contradicting himself. This is also no matter. Mark Hemingway was not talking about the current baby that Mark Hemingway was talking about before. He was also not talking about current parents he talked about before. He is talking about other parents. Their babies must die.
So I hope Bethany grows up strong — I’m worried about her. Not because I’m worried that the state won’t take care of her, but I’m afraid that her parents will continue to set a bad example. In which case, she’ll need all the help she can get.
Mark Hemingway, was, on the other hand, talking about current baby. And current parents. Current loser parents. With loser baby.
UPDATE: Dara Wilkerson regarding the "irresponsible decision" to change jobs:
We have seen the statement about my previous employment and here is what we have to say: I left my previous place of employment years before Bethany became part of our lives. I am a hard working woman. I have worked at Snappers Sea Grill for over 6 years. It is a good work environment and I am a loyal employee. My husband and I were blessed with Bethany two years ago and we are even more blessed to still have her with us today.
More from Bill Scher at the Huffington Post and at the Campaign for America's Future.