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December 14, 2011

Paul Ryan To Gingrich: Cowboy Up, Stop Pandering And Surrendering
Context: Everyone But Huntsman Is Skittish On Medicare

Ryan's not happy about Gingrich's eternal tactical-advantage politics. Some problems are big enough to be treated as actual politics requiring solution, rather than mere political potholes to be avoided.

In an interview with Coffee & Markets, Gingrich said that Republicans should not “impose” solutions that are “very, very unpopular.” Ronald Reagan, he noted, “ran to be a popular president, not to maximize suicide.”

In order to “govern over the long run,” leaders need “the American people [to] think you’re doing a good job and think you’re doing what they want,” he continued.

Ryan, in an interview with National Review Online, says that he disagrees with Gingrich, and urges Republicans to confront fiscal problems, irrespective of political risk. Worrying about electoral “suicide,” he says, is a disservice to voters, “who don’t want to be pandered to like children.”

Faint heart never won fair lady.

Except in politics, of course.

What Is Gingrich Talking About? I don't mean that in the WTF way, but literally. It's unclear what Gingrich actually means.

He seems to be talking about Romney's plan, and assuming, strangely, Romney's plan would affect seniors currently on Medicare. But Romney's plan doesn't call for that (details of Romney's plan are thin, but that's not included), and Ryan's plan expressly doesn't include that.

Knockdown: Ben Domenech says only Huntsman has expressly endorsed the Ryan plan, and all other candidates are pursuing the Pander Strategem to one extent or another.

Michele Bachmann, who voted for Ryan's plan, now says her support of it comes with an "asterisk" because she disagrees with significant portions of his Medicare approach. Ron Paul, who voted against Ryan's plan, has not proposed any comprehensive entitlement reform beyond saying Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional. Rick Perry has talked vaguely about principles and listed a few starting points but has not proposed a comprehensive entitlement reform plan. Newt Gingrich pairs boldness on Social Security with caution on Medicare. And as for Mitt Romney - who after assaulting Perry over the Ponzi scheme issue took any serious reform of Social Security off the table - many observers still have a great deal of trouble understanding what his Medicare plan even is, a fact Gingrich referenced in the same interview.

I suppose that's fair play, then: If Romney won't say what his position is, I guess it is standard politics to guess at it being the worst possible position. If the candidate wants to avoid that assumption, he can come forward with details.

But there is history here-- "rightwing social engineering."

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posted by Ace at 02:05 PM

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