While well aware that there were political risks, many Republicans went into this year convinced that the rapid growth of the national debt had changed the public mood when it came to tackling the entitlement programs, starting with Medicare, the biggest driver of projected future deficits. In an ambitious budget plan written by Representative Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, House Republicans embraced a proposal that would convert Medicare into a subsidized program for the private insurance market.
Even after Tuesday night’s loss in the New York special election, in a district Republicans had held for decades, some Republicans remain chin out, calling the Ryan plan much needed medicine that the public will eventually embrace.
Others up for reelection, and some of those running for president, will not firmly commit themselves one way or another. And a small but growing number are saying no.
The "loss" the Times refers to is the victory of Democrat Kathy Hochul over a split GOP ticket of Jane Corwin and Jack Davis, a Teabagger in one of the most conservative districts in the country, much less New York State. The percentage split 47-43-9, makes the race seem closer than it was. In truth, the Republican budget proposal was defeated 56-43 (adding Davis' and Hochul's totals together, which as Nate Silver points out, ain't too far from the truth.)
Damn. Even President Obama couldn't pull off that stunning a victory! And to top it all off, Corwin had visits from John Boener and Eric Cantor to try to salvage her campaign, all for nought. Talk about rubbing noses in it!
So there's a strategy here for Democrats to take back the House, believe it or not, but it's going to require quite a bit of work and quite a bit of money to offset the Citizen's United debacle. For one thing, the first step is the one already being contemplated: Force an up or down vote in the Senate on Medicare reform.
And there's not a ghost of a chance this could be filibustered away. After all, it's the centerpiece of the Republican legislative agenda. Can you imagine a Senator being dumb enough to tell Paul Ryan to fuck off?
Even voting against the plan will raise hackles for Senators like Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, who will undoubtedly face a tough, Koch-financed primary challenge for re-election if they do.
Sort of fun watching these asshats twist in the wind. When you don't get it, you deserve to have it stuffed down your throat, I suppose.