Friday, May 20, 2011

Are Republicans Crossing the Lemming Line on Medicare?

by Fuzzyone

Part the reason that Republicans have been politically successful in recent years is that they have maintained party discipline. This has enabled them to block Democratic priorities, even when the Democrats had large majorities, especially since the Democrats did not show similar discipline.

But there is a line between being disciplined, and running lemming like over a cliff and Republicans may now be crossing the Lemming Line on Medicare. After a pretty much straight party line vote on the plan it seemed like at least some Republicans realized it might not be such a good idea and were starting to walk away from it. That the plan is a problem for Republicans seems clear both from polling and the effect it is having on a special election in upstate New York. Senate Republicans don't seem enthused either.

Given all this, you might think that the GOP would want to put some distance between themselves, and especially their Presidential candidates, and the Ryan plan. But when Newt Gingrich dissed Ryan on Meet the Press all hell broke loose. So it now seems clear that Republicans are going to have a tough time distancing themselves from Ryan.

Of course Democrats are going to do their best to take advantage, no matter how much silly crap about the Republicans not really trying to end Medicare the mainstream media spews. The way the Democrats can blow this is to cut Medicare themselves and thus once again blur the distinction between themselves and the Republicans. It appears that this is what at least the Gang of Six, now apparently defunct, had in mind.

That is the one thing Democrats need to avoid. They need to stand for defending programs that support the non-rich and let the Republicans chase one another off the cliff.


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