Jonathan Chait had a quick item that wasn't bad, and Steve Benen goes into more detail today, but the Catch goes to Mark Kleiman for being the first I saw to point out that Michele Bachmann's accusation that Barack Obama has a secret plan to replace Medicare with "Obamacare" is really an accusation that Obama secretly supports Paul Ryan's plan. Bingo!
You do have to wonder about the thought process that gets her to that one, though. I can think of several possibilities, with the first one probably the most likely:
1. She doesn't care what Medicare is or what ACA is: she just knows a good applause line when she thinks of it.
2. She knows exactly what Medicare, ACA, and Ryan's plan are. She's already expressed some skepticism about Ryan; here, she's doubling down. Because she thinks Ryan is going to get into the presidential race, and she intends to use the similarities between Ryan's plan and ACA against him.
3. She believes that ACA sets up a British-style government health care system, and supports Medicare as the less socialist option.
4. She really believes "keep government's hands off of my Medicare" -- Medicare is some sort of natural thing, sort of like property rights, and government should never interfere with it.
5. She doesn't actually believe either #3 or #4, but thinks it's good politics for her to pretend to believe one or both of those things.
6. It's a Paul Revere strategy; what she's really trying to do is to get outraged reactions from liberals.
OK, that's all I can think of.
I should note one thing about all of this..."Obamacare." ACA isn't a single program; it's a whole bunch of health care reforms, stitched together in one bill but in many cases essentially unrelated. What Kleiman and the others (and me, too) are interpreting Bachmann as saying is that Obama would turn Medicare into an exchanges-plus-subsidies scheme, which is both what ACA does for the individual insurance market for those outside of Medicare who don't get insurance through employment, and what Paul Ryan would do for Medicare. But ACA for Medicare eligibles is something else entirely; it consists, for them, of removing some subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans and finding new savings (or at least trying to!) within regular Medicare. And for those who have insurance through their jobs, ACA is yet another thing. The idea that there's a single program that ACA is imposing on everyone just isn't right.
Oh, and by the way: Michele Bachmann is now a presidential candidate who some people think has a real shot of winning the nomination. Hey, reporters: you might want to actually follow up on this one.
And also: nice catch!