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May 27, 2011

Democrats 2012: All MediScare All the Time

Jonah Goldberg asked whether the Dems would just demagogue the Ryan plan into the 2012 elections instead of running on their record, shook his Magic 8 Ball, and ...

YES - DEFINITELY.

The simple fact is that the Democrats have their battle plan. It’s going to be Medi-scare every day in every way for the next 17 months. They are on autopilot. They are committed. Their die is cast. They have crossed their Rubicon. They have no desire to defend Obamacare, high gas prices, high unemployment, and a third Middle East war. They want — no, need — to be on offense because they have so much they cannot defend.

The question now is, “What are Republicans going to do about it?” Are they going to play the role of Pompey, the dissolute leader who didn’t want to fight? Or will they don Caesarian robes and join the battle head-on because they know they have nowhere to retreat? That is the political choice for the GOP: Win or die.

Before you start planning where to send a donation in lieu of flowers, take heart. The counterattack favored by Ace, namely pointing out that the Democrats have already gutted Medicare and Ryan's plan is the only one on the table to save it, is picking up steam.

The Obama administration has repeatedly claimed that the health-reform bill it passed last year improved Medicare's finances. Although you'd never know it from the current state of the Medicare debate—with the Republicans being portrayed as the Medicare Grinches—the claim is true only because ObamaCare explicitly commits to cutting health-care spending for the elderly and the disabled in future years.

Yet almost no one familiar with the numbers thinks that the planned brute-force cuts in Medicare spending are politically feasible. Last August, the Office of the Medicare Actuary predicted that Medicare will be paying doctors less than what Medicaid pays by the end of this decade and, by then, one in seven hospitals will have to leave the Medicare system.

Will this be successful? Given the Dems' 50-year head start on the "Evil Republicans want to throw grandma from the train" talking point, I have my doubts.

But Jonah's right. Those in the "that's not the hill I want to die on" wing of the GOP need to understand that their hill has been chosen for them. Time to fight.


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posted by Andy at 08:16 AM

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