MAYBE IT'S FINALLY TIME FOR THAT GREAT TEABAG/FIREBAG MERGER
A few lefty bloggers think this Michelle Bachmann statement is transparently absurd -- it's the Bachmann we've known and loathed for years, not the "serious" one Beltway insiders told us about all week -- and I agree with them: saying something like this is nuts. But I bet not everyone on the left would agree that it's nuts:
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the latest candidate to join the Republican presidential campaign, suggested Friday that President Obama secretly wanted Medicare to go bankrupt so retirees would be forced to enroll in the new national health care law.
"This hasn't been talked about very much – the president's plan for senior citizens is Obamacare," Ms. Bachmann told party activists.... She added, "I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens." ...
As Jonathan Chait says:
Bachmann: Obama Hates... Socialism?
...Medicare is a single-payer program -- the kind liberals have always wanted for the non-elderly, but didn't get. Turning Medicare into something like the Affordable Care Act would be to move them off single-payer health care and onto a regulated system of private insurance. That would be a conservative plot. I don't think Obama is planning it, and if he were, it would prove he's far more right wing than anybody imagined.
Really, Jonathan? More right-wing than anybody imagined? I don't agree. I bet Firedoglake's Scarecrow would find Bachmann's theory quite plausible:
...And as I could never vote for the unprincipled moral chameleon Romney, I cannot vote again for a faux Democrat whose policies and moral sentiments now seem little different from Romney's.
I defy any Obama spokesperson to point out any meaningful difference between what Obama has done and what a President Romney would have done.
Health care reform? ObamaCare is identical to RomneyCare, complete with mandates to funnel trillions through private insurers, with no public alternative and no meaningful hope that a concentrated industry unamenable to competitive outcomes will keep costs affordable....
How much persuasion do you think it would take to get Scarecrow to believe precisely what Bachmann believes, from the left?
Scarecrow goes on to argue that Obama did just what a "moderate Republican" would have done (true in many respects) -- the implication being that "moral chameleon" Romney might well be a "moderate Republican" if he becomes president and has extreme-right GOP majorities in the House, Senate, and Supreme Court, with Fox News, Drudge, and Breitbart still acting as the main drivers of every news cycle.
Sigh ... if only we could empirically test the theory that an apparent right-centrist Republican, once elected to the White House, will tack sharply to the right -- not merely replicating what previous right-wing administrations did, but dreaming up dangerous new innovations in right-wing extremism. If only we could find a real-world test for that premise....
Oh, yeah, that's right -- we can.