Monday, August 23, 2010


Steve Benen flags a Roll Call story about congressional Republicans' hypocritical response to the "roadmap" of much-lauded GOP congressman Paul Ryan -- a response that Democrats could bring into sharp focus if they knew how to play the game properly:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the far-right lawmaker who'll head the House Budget Committee if Republicans take the House, has a fairly radical budget plan -- he calls it a "Roadmap for America's Future" -- which his party's leadership has been reluctant to embrace.

Dick Armey, apparently, is sick of it.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) on Sunday said lawmakers who have not signed onto Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to balance the budget lacked "courage" and could be targeted by the conservative tea party movement as a result....

"All Paul Ryan is saying is let Social Security be voluntary, let Medicare be voluntary," Armey said. "The fact that he only has 13 co-sponsors is a big reason why our folks are agitated against the Republicans as well as the Democrats -- the difference between being a co-sponsor of Ryan or not is a thing called courage."

The "roadmap" destroys Social Security and Medicare, lowers taxes on the rich, raises taxes on the non-rich, and doesn't balance the budget. Of course Republicans don't want to sign on to it. But only D.C. insiders and political mavens know that Republicans are simultaneously singing Ryan's praises and shunning his actual plan.

So if Republicans want reflected glory from Ryan's plan but are afraid to make the effort to put the plan before the American people, why don't Democrats do it instead?

I don't mean they should support the bill. I mean that some of them should sponsor it, and they should bring it to the floor. They should do this as a way of making Republicans put their money where their mouth is.

Hey, GOP -- you want to get brownie points for Paul Ryan's fiscal "seriousness"? Fine. Then have the cojones to vote for or against his bill -- in the fall before an election year. Have the cojones to go into November having voted to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

Or vote no and demonstrate to us that your much-lauded "young gun" Ryan is selling snake oil you wouldn't even dare to sip.

Why don't Democrats make that happen? Why don't they make Republicans put up or shut up?

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