Monday, July 9, 2012

Believe What You're Saying

I don't get the sense that people paid enough attention to a really excellent Jackie Calmes story in Saturday's NYT about the continuing farce that is the GOP position on Medicare. Perhaps because the Times gave it a bland headline ("Delicate Pivot as Republicans Blast Rivals on Medicare Cuts") instead of something more accurate, such as "Republicans Are Shockingly Hypocritical, Irresponsible, and Flat-Out Full of Crap on Medicare Cuts."

To review:

1. Medicare cuts were the main specific complaint about health care reform that Republicans used in the 2010 campaign, and are still using today. At least in GOP ads, medicare cuts were probably a more common attack than general complaints about "liberty" or even the mandate. Opposing the ACA Medicare cuts was what Republicans ran on in 2010, and are running on today.

2. Republicans support the cuts that they ran, and are running, against. Soon after arriving in Washington, that Tea Party class of 2011 voted for the Ryan budget which contained the very Medicare cuts they campaigned against.

3. While also voting to repeal Obamacare, and thus eliminate the significant benefits for Medicare recipients in the ACA, including closing the donut hole and free preventative measures.

4. And while supporting the Ryan plan to transform Medicare into a new program that would certainly cut benefits far more than would be the case under the ACA.

5. All of which doesn't even account for absolute Republican opposition to the long-term cost-cutting measures in ACA (such as the IPAB) -- while at the same time Republicans also have been bashing Barack Obama and the Democrats for not being willing to do "entitlement reform."

Calmes does a first-rate job of telling that story, which is still (I believe) very much underappreciated by the press as a whole. I'm not one to really care very much about hypocrisy, but the plain fact that Republicans actually support the Medicare cuts they've been running ads against for the last four years is, well, astonishing. And that's without the rest of this whole sequence (which includes, of course, the fraud of "repeal and replace" as well).


  1. Medicare doublespeak is underappreciated, yes. So is the War on Budgeting. The War on Budgeting isn't even acknowledged.

  2. When you take into consideration the IQ of the adverage Teabaggers it's no wounder we are being screwed

  3. I hope mainstream Democrats will soon realize that Harry Reid solved this problem pretty successfully in 2010. His opponent in the Senate race was a stark raving looney, and would say plainly crazy things. Focus group after focus group simply refused to believe that anyone could say the things she did. The only way to hammer the facts home was to use video of her talking. The difficulty with this method for the Medicare issue is that the Republicans frequently use code phrases. Those would have to be defined on the video at the same time for people to be able to make the connection.

  4. It's really very simple: The GOP has been at war since about 1935 - the goal is to repeal the 'New Deal' entirely, as well as the subsequent Marxist Trojan Horses like the 'Great Society' stuff. This was originally just based on (plausible) fear of the Soviet revolutionaries and their attack on the west, but solidified as unexamined dogma by the 1960s. With the Nixon-to-Reagan-to-WBush victories, they've finally got to within an eyelash of their long-time goal. That they'll be getting the hated Pinkos to do the actual dirty work has to be the source of almost continuous orgasms amongst the Koch set. This sort of "expose the hypocrisy" stuff is almost useless - you can't fight religion with logic, and the GOP learned two valuable lessons from Nixon's downfall which have served them well:
    1. Own the press, and 2. Destroy the evidence. If you want to win this war, even now at the end of it, you'll have to fight emotion with emotion and religious faith with faith. Leave the "logic and science" for areas where they may have some effect.

    1. YES. Perfect project for Matt Yglesias: He *must* give up the Spock stuff

  5. When you say it is "underappreciated by the press" you are assuming that they actually "appreciate" anything. They are just stenographers: the person says it, and they write it down. To expect them to make any effort to actually understand the issues or point out to readers and viewers when the politician is spouting bullshit is to give them far too much credit.


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