bilickichip.jpg***Just a reminder:  Book Salon with John Dean will be held at a special time today, beginning at 11:30 am PT/2:30 pm ET.***

According to Ed Gillespie, the new WH policy “braintrust,” keeping the rabid wingnut base happily in line is far more important than providing health care for needy kids.  No, I’m not kidding.  Via a weird hybrid article of spin and desperate confessional from the NYTimes:

At the White House, administration officials urged Congressional Republicans to try to remain positive and ride out the current turmoil. Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Mr. Bush, told the visitors, according to multiple accounts, that had Republicans sided with Democrats on the health program, they would have opened themselves to withering criticism from conservatives and been in a worse position than they are now.

But that was small solace to Congressional Republicans who worry that the White House does not fully appreciate their political difficulties and that Mr. Bush, who will not be on the ballot next year, has put them in harm’s way with his opposition to the children’s health care bill….  (emphasis mine)

Wrong.  What put Congressional Republicans in harm’s way was siding with the President no matter what when he was wrong instead of doing the right thing for children in America. Stop trying to find someone else to blame and look at your own votes.  It is as though people inside the Beltway lose all consciousness of the consequences of their actions.

– Using nasty wingnuts to front out the most vile pushback so that you don’t have to actually think about your actions?  It means that you and your party get to pick up the tab for the likes of Ann Coulter and RedState and Malkin and “Pills” Limbaugh and their ilk.  Is that really the face of the GOP that you want oozing out there day in, day out?  I guess so, if Republican leadership is using them to launder dirty tricks against children and their family.  (And you know your tactic has backfired in a huge way when even the wingnut-friendly WSJ editorial page lambastes the wingnut blog and radio shriekers for attacking a child as a dishonest ”mob.”  Of course, no mention whatsoever in the WSJ of the GOP leadership’s role in egging on the mob mentaility.  Convenient.)

–  You either respect the rule of law or you don’t.  And when you don’t?  Then you reap a whole host of problems.  Whether or not the Beltway Brahmins want to acknowledge it, rebuilding respect for our justice system and trust in its mechanisms is going to take a long, long time — and by propping up illegal end-runs of the Constitution and the rule of law, the inside the beltway crowd bears responsbility for this problem.

– When you send our nation’s soldiers off to fight in a war of your choosing, they deserve better than just being told to suck it up and deal.  (Warning:  this article will piss you off.)  And they sure as hell deserve more support from potential employers than “if you’re going to get deployed again, we’re not interested.”  Real leaders stand up and say so instead of just pretending the problems still don’t exist — 6 years and counting into this mess.  Stand up and lead, for hell’s sakes, because vets and their families deserve much better than what they are getting at the moment.  Decisions to go to war have enormous consequences, not just for budget deficits and staged photo-ops, and the costs to these very real, very human soldiers and their families are enormous. 

– A unilateral executive goes against the Constitution and the principles under which this nation was founded.  It’s not just bad for Russia.  Ahem.

And it goes on and on and on…

Of course, being a Republican means never having to acknowledge that you are wrong.  But maybe, just maybe, we could at least get a few personal-ass-saving vote changes on SCHIP from the craven masses because they realize that the real public thinks the GOP looks like a modern cautionary Ebenezer tale.  Here’s hoping…because as Calzee notes in the comments, SCHIP makes good sense for all of us:

…why wouldn’t the supporters of SCHIP be patiently explaining to the Me First and Only Republicans that they really do want poor children to have health care because if they don’t, even little insured Republican children can be infected with strep, MSRA, whooping cough, impetigo, meningitis, etc….

Common sense and science. Let’s try some of that for a change, what do you say?

(Editorial cartoon used with express permission from Justin Bilicki.  Just sums up my disgusted feeling this morning…)