It is with no small matter of pride that I caught my daughter Elise's first piece as a Milwaukee Journal Community columnist in this morning's edition. Actually I had my eye on one of the columnist spots, but I was unable to find time to try out as I was a bit tied up with her sister's wedding (another liberal by the way who married a guy who grew up in the Canadian health care system. And yes, he loves it).
Elise's inaugural column was on Bush's veto of the bill funding the SCHIP program to provide health care to kids whose parents have trouble covering the medical expenses.
In this case veto #4 is where W has slowly drawn the veto pen across the throats of incumbent GOP members of the House who are in swing districts, unless of course they had the moral and political smarts to vote for the
Needless to say, like all good op-eds, it will delight some and upset others. Unlike say Jonah Goldberg, who has no real world experience though gets carried by a newspaper syndicate because like Mikey in the Life Commercial conservative readers will eat up everything that gets served to him, Elise knows what she's talking about:
Working for a company that administers government dental programs - including SCHIP - in states across the country, I may be viewed as biased. I say I have a unique understanding of not only how these programs work but the immense benefit they provide to children. Children who, through no fault of their own, have parents who can't afford private health insurance and children whose parents are responsible enough to seek help.This is followed up with some Bush indictments laced with facts:
Bush had to drag the issue of socialized medicine into the mix. I don't see the correlation between socializing medicine and taking care of under- or non-insured kids. Even with SCHIP, there still are about 9 million American children without insurance, with about 88,000 in Wisconsin.And she closes with a nice call to action:
It's up to members of Congress to step up and get the necessary votes to override Bush's veto. Let's hope they listen to their constituents and do the right thing.Of course I'm looking forward to more of these. What father wouldn't. As she told the Journal when she submitted her entries, "in our family we follow politics the way other families follow sports."
Needless to say, Elise represents a demographic trend for her cohort. As Howard Dean pointed out at the YearlyKos conference back in August, in the 2006 election a large percentage of voters 18 to 30 years old have swung to the Democratic party.
Even young Evangelicals are turning their total attention away from gay bashing and abortion politics, and are becoming more concerned about the environment, economic fairness and Darfur. And at this age their voting pattern becomes set for life unless some very serious disruption takes place.
Bush's veto of SCHIP will only accelerate this process.