Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Chris Cillizza doesn't think Paul Ryan's budgets are all that bad politically for Ryan or the GOP. I think he has a point:
... Democrats have insisted for the last several years that the Ryan budget -- and, specifically, the plan's re-imagining of Medicare -- was their ace in the hole when it came to winning back (or retaining) control of Congress.

Results were somewhat mixed. Senate Democrats note that the issue of eliminating Medicare -- if not the Ryan budget in particular -- came up in a number of competitive races in 2012, often to great effect for their side....

And yet, predictions -- like the one made by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) -- that the Ryan budget would hand House control back to Democrats in 2012 didn't happen.

"Like many Democrats, I thought [the Ryan budget] would be a bigger factor in last year's election," said Brendan Daly, a former senior aide to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). "But the Republicans were able to muddy the water on Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare by accusing President Obama of cutting Medicare."

Added [Oklahoma GOP congressman] Tom Cole: "Did we lose any race because of the Ryan budget? Has any other item so united the Republican Party, which has been pretty fractious of late? Do you think we will lose ground due to the Ryan budget in 2014?" ...
If we had a Republican president but also had a media-darling Democratic head of the House Budget Committee who proposed a budget as far to the left as Ryan's budget is to the right, you'd better believe the Fox News/talk radio audience would understand, in detail, what the Democrat was proposing, and would be raising holy hell about it, even if the budget (like Ryan's) had zero chance of passing. If the true nature of the budget were hidden under a mound of jargon, trust me, the right-wing media would make sure its audience understood precisely whatever the left/liberal analogue of "premium support" was (or at least had that feature defined in a way guaranteed to raise blood pressure).

But the number of highly politicized Democrats/liberals/lefties in America is much, much smaller than the number of highly politicized right-wingers, because of the effectiveness of the right-wing media. Liberals and moderates paid some attention last year to Ryan and his ideas because he was on the Republican ticket, but there isn't a propaganda machine, apart from boutique-audience media like MSNBC prime time, to get the same people really, really angry this year about a budget that will never pass.

So Ryan can propose whatever the hell he wants, with little negative harm to his party. Throw in gerrymandering and it's practically risk-free.


Unknown said...

Well, after all, a sizable percentage of medicare recipients voted for Romney/Ryan back in November rather than "that negro". Sometimes the pigheadedness of the 'Murr'kin electorate simply floors me. I remember reading about exit polls that put it around 30% in Florida? Stunning.

Victor said...

Yet more evidence, that the answer to the question, "Is our MSM learning?", that the answer, still, is a resounding "NO!!!"

"The New Paul Ryan Math," is just as bad as "The Old Paul Ryan Meth (sic)."

'But the vacant-eyed Granny Starver seems like such and earnest young man! How could he possibly want to harm anyone?'

Our Republicans are both stupid and evil, because too many people in our MSM are either stupid, or evil - or both.
Mostly, both, I'd say!!!

The Left said...

This is just another example of the Republican Party wooing voters with social issues, engaging in fear tactics, and then picking the voters' pockets once they get into office. If voters actually realized how extreme the Ryan budget was, the snake-oil salesmen in the GOP would still get around 50% of the vote. Sad, but true.