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Open Thread: Will Republicans Do Battle Over Medicare?

In his latest column for National Review, Jonah Goldberg wonders whether Republicans are ready for the fight that, he argues, has already arrived at their doorstep. Democrats, Goldberg claims, have already decided on a strategy: engage in all out, fact-free rhetorical war against Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan. Offering a Classical Roman analogy, Goldberg argues that the GOP now has a simple choice to make: "win or die."

The simple fact is that the Democrats have their battle plan. It’s going to be Medi-scare every day in every way for the next 17 months. They are on autopilot. They are committed. Their die is cast. They have crossed their Rubicon. They have no desire to defend Obamacare, high gas prices, high unemployment, and a third Middle East war. They want — no, need — to be on offense because they have so much they cannot defend.

The question now is, “What are Republicans going to do about it?” Are they going to play the role of Pompey, the dissolute leader who didn’t want to fight? Or will they don Caesarian robes and join the battle head-on because they know they have nowhere to retreat? That is the political choice for the GOP: Win or die...

The one advantage the outnumbered Caesar had was that he and his battle-tested forces understood that there was only one solution to their plight: victory.

Do you think this is a view shared by Republicans, or do you see a compromise in the GOP's near future?


#1 win or die

Scott P. Brown

Susan Collins

Olympia J. Snowe

Lisa Murkowski

You can not win when you can't distinguish between the two sides in battle.

. . Socialist = Modern Liberal = Parasitoid

#2 This illustrates perfectly why Rove and Krauthammer were

dead wrong about the usefulness of winning the Senate in 2010 when you have "allies" like these providing the Dems with political cover.

"Liberalism is hideous.  It is the antithesis of being pro-human.  It looks at life as a burden in and of itself to be managed, rather than as a blessing to be explored and lived to the fullest." --Rush Limbaugh

#3 A simple three-word counter to lib demagoguery

should be used by all Republicans discussing Medicare:

"Where's your plan?"

I can't say I'm surprised that the GOP refuses to call out the Dems on their complete lack of a serious budget and reform proposal, or the fact that The One's budget got shot down in the Senate 97-0. Or the inability to refocus this debate on Obamacare.

For the love of God, for once, go on offense and control the narrative instead of retreating into your shell!

"Liberalism is hideous.  It is the antithesis of being pro-human.  It looks at life as a burden in and of itself to be managed, rather than as a blessing to be explored and lived to the fullest." --Rush Limbaugh

#4 What Plan?

Harry Reid: It would be foolish for Democrats to offer Budget plan.

But you knew that (now that I think about it, that was your link from yesterday or Wednesday, yes?)

It's the RINO's and Beltway Republicans who are waffling, per the usual.  The Tea Party Republicans need to start beating them over the head with the 2010 election results. 

It's time to go nuclear with the message.  No reform = NO MEDICARE in 12 years.  Period.  Paragraph.  End of Story.

I will not support any GOP candidate who won't get behind Paul Ryan's budget.  Right damn now.

#5 No "Huntsman for President"

No "Huntsman for President" signs in your yard then?

"Liberalism is hideous.  It is the antithesis of being pro-human.  It looks at life as a burden in and of itself to be managed, rather than as a blessing to be explored and lived to the fullest." --Rush Limbaugh

#6 Democrats have no plan other

Democrats have no plan other than to tax hell out of us and keep spending. The Obama hind tit suckers are filling the papers and airwaves with the cry that nothing is wrong-we are not broke and Medicare can be fixed by clamping down on inefficiencies. It is like the alcoholic that has to recognize he has a problem before he can get it fixed. They will not take step one so there is no chance for going to step two.

A well regulated militia being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

#8 From your link: “We

From your link:

  • “We gave the blueprint for how we strengthen Medicare in the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi said, a plan which is still “ripening” and “which does not reduce benefits. It lowers costs to taxpayers, the deficit, and beneficiaries.” She said the only type of Medicare cuts she’s open to are extracting savings via bureaucratic and pharmecutical reforms that don’t touch benefits.

Please do not pass Pelosi off as truthful or even knowledgeable.  $500 BILLION in Medicare cuts in ObamaCare.  The "ripening" allusion is rank propaganda considering the myriad of unelected and nearly untouchable committees have yet to be formed which will have the power to control care from a star chamber reeking of political allegiance, not medical prudence.

That your carcass will be ripening along with ours is no solace to me for your dangerous foolishness.

#9 impeach obama NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

impeach obama NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 obama near the end....impeach impeach i,mpeach impeach

obama will never serve another term as presdent!!!!!

#11 Here's a guess - if it's true, be very afraid!

Here's a possible reason for Democrats' fierce opposition to changes in Medicare. Do you suppose that the libs actually want Medicare to go broke so that everyone will be forced to join Obama-care?  If it's true, it's very scary!

#12 Yes. that is the plan.

They also wrote into it "fines" for companies not providing healthcare to their employees that were WAY cheaper than the cost of providing that healthcare. This was not a mistake or an oversight. It also is part of the plan to cause companies to drop their healthcare to force people into the government "pool".

They are flat out lying to the public and the media are part of their plan.


Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#13 The 2008 campaign SHOULD have

The 2008 campaign SHOULD have awakened you! McCain was the squishy, moderate WIMP you RINOs thought you needed. The liberals claimed that they loved him and that he was the best guy to go against Obama. But the moment he became the candidate, they turned against him like ravenous vultures. They chewed him up and spat him out and then urinated on whatever was left before running off to crown Obama as their King.

They are trying to destroy you, GOP - wake up! The Ryan plan is your chance to show that you finally get it - that liberals are not your friends or collegues - they are your ENEMIES and you must fight!

Even if you don't buy into the Ryan plan, come up with a better one! Do SOMETHING! Don't just sit there like bumps on a log, waiting for the media to slime you again!

I heard all you RINO wimps out there. 'Well gee, maybe now wasn't the best time to reform Medicare!'
Well WHEN IS the 'right time'? Is the right time:
a) When the media likes you and writes fawning stories about you? That WILL NEVER HAPPEN! They hate you and they are in cahoots with the Dems!
b) When medicare collapses and goes completely broke? Is THAT the right time? When that happens the libs will demand the government take over completely and NO ONE will have medicare - hello 'death panels'! Obama and his thugs have already used government control to deny disaster relief to Texas, and used the TSA to terrorize them into allowing airline passengers to be groped and fondled. Do you REALLY think they're not going to use absolute government medical control as a weapon to terrorize the people into voting Democrat? They're already doing it - denying coverage to people based on the way they vote!

When IS the 'right time', GOP wimps? When????? For pity's sake - the Dems have handed you the most powerful weapons you could possibly have asked for, through no less than their crowed king, Obama himself!

YOU HAVE TAPE of Obama telling the family of an old lady that he was NOT GOING TO TREAT HER because 'we can't measure will to live'! You have Obama ON TAPE saying flat out that his plan for old people was to NOT treat them! You have him on video and audio saying that his plan was to take sick, and dying old people and 'give them a pain pill!' - then send them home to DIE without treatment! WHY AREN'T YOU LOOPING THAT TAPE 24/7?????

You thought the 'old lady off a cliff' ad was damaging? The dems had to fake and phony that up with actors! YOU HAVE OBAMA ON TAPE SAYING THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE WOULD DO! For pity's sake - the Democrats have handed you Obama's stinking HEAD on a silver platter - just reach out and TAKE IT!

If a Liberal/Democrat politician/media figure wants to put their arms around you, or pat you on the back, all they're doing is looking for a good place to stick a knife.

#14 Interesting economic news

Here's Reuters: Consumer spending tepid as inflation accelerates.  On Friday May 27, 2011, 9:05 am

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer spending rose modestly in April, starting the second quarter on a soft note as high gasoline prices continued to squeeze household finances and keep inflation pressures simmering.

The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.4 percent, rising for a 10th straight month, after a 0.5 percent gain in March. It also said annual inflation rose at its fastest pace in 12 months.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, to rise 0.5 percent last month.


Here's the AP: Stocks open higher with rising spending. Matthew Craft, AP Business Writer, On Friday May 27, 2011, 9:40 am

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are opening higher after a report showed Americans' spending edged up last month.

The Commerce Department said early Friday that both personal income and spending rose 0.4 percent in April, in line with what economists expected. However higher food and gas prices accounted for most of the spending increase.


The AP had 35 minutes to work on the spin.

#15 "The magnitude of the fall in

"The magnitude of the fall in pending home sales is larger than can be implied by broad economic factors, so we need to see if it’s just a one-month aberration," NAR's Lawrence Yun says.

Yeah, more of the "unexpectantly" nonsense from so-called economists. The housing market is clearly back in recession. But, that's not the half of it. As housing prices continue to fall, more and more Americans go "underwater" in regards to home price/loan balance ratio. If anything happens to their economic stability, they will just walk away. That's on top of some 2 million foreclosure homes on the market and 4 million more homes that have loans that are awaiting foreclosure or are in varying lesser degress of distress.

Thank goodness, duhbama is focusing on jobs with a laser-like focus!

#16 jd

I just ran across a Reuters piece that illustrates your exact point. Amazingly, Reuters was blindsided by this news as well. I wonder... since this article lays part of the blame on these poor housing numbers on tornadoes ("Pending home sales in the South, which was ravaged by tornadoes, dropped 17.2 percent"), will they give Obama credit when they start to rebuild? I can see it now: "Housing starts skyrocket as Obama economy shows increasing strength", or "Bad news for GOP candidates as Obama's economic policies lead to huge upswing in the housing sector."

Published: Friday, 27 May 2011 | 10:47 AM ET
By: Reuters

Pending sales of existing U.S. homes dropped far more than expected in April to touch a seven-month low, a trade group said on Friday, dealing a blow to hopes of a recovery in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index dropped 11.6 percent to 81.9 in April, the lowest since September. Pending home sales lead existing home sales by a month or two.

Economists, who had expected pending home sales to fall 1.0 percent last month, said bad weather in some parts of the country might have affected home shopping.

#17 In answer to the question...

NO. The GOP "leadership" will decide that they can not fight both the democrats and the liberal media and so will abandon Medicare as a cause and campaign and try and switch to something else.

Their stupid decision will reinforce the plan of the media and the dems teaming up and just cause more lies and epithets to be hurled at them on any of the other issues that they try and bring into the discussion.

As to the economic news of the day...after taking into account the big raises in the cost of gasoline and food, actual consumer spending was flat and so was income. Inflation is accelerating (or really just unable to be hidden by the government anymore) and the economy is in stagnation. Prepare for stagflation to become the new normal.


Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#18 There is leadership in the

There is leadership in the Republican party? Who?

Come out, come out, where ever you are?

Alli, alli, all come free . . . .


#19 Leaderless

Leaderless, the GOP is just drifting aimlessly in the open sea.

Let's make the 2012 campaign: "The War on Error"

#20 The GOP has no fight in it

They have been in control of the House for nearly 6 months, and yet Obama's nation-destroying agenda is still rolling rapidly along, and the House repubs just sit there like moss on a rock, watching him dismantle our country at a rate that might very well be irreversible by November of 2012.

They can't even bring themselves to rip the financial guts out of a law they actually voted to repeal.

Either they cannot see what Obama is doing to this country, or they don't care.

At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter which one it is, as the end result will be the same.


Vote for the American in November

#21 Dave, how?

I agree that the House needs to try harder but the Senate is controlling Cogress right now by being the party of 'No' (remember that one?) and has already made it known that next to nothing will get through Congress from the Republicans even if Harry has to shelve the vote till 2012.

. . Socialist = Modern Liberal = Parasitoid

#22 Keeping things in perspective

Dave, I'd agree with you if we had 291 Republicans in the House and 67 Republicans in the Senate. 

As things stand now there isn't much the House can do other than tap the brakes. 

All things being considered, I like what they have done so far. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#23 Not with this leadership

Can't see it happening. and meanwhile, the wussification of America continues...

Knowledge is Good

- Emil Faber

#24 After Medicare

I just do not see the economic method wherein insurance companies can make money servicing the elderly. The insurance companies would be far better off, profit wise, by dumping the elderly and concentrating on younger groups.

#25 How?

Simple: insurance companies need to be permitted to sell medical insurance the same way they sell us auto insurance: we pay individually for individually tailored policies, and the insurance companies determine how much we pay, in part, by determining the risk factors we tend to have by means of age, marital status, individual histories, etc. 

If that were to happen, watch the number of people who are uninsured drop. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#26 Having been in the hospital

Having been in the hospital earlier in the week I missed the induction for the newest members of the NASCAR Hal of Fame. I got to watch it this morning. As I look at what Bud Moore had done, not just in the war but what other contributions he made to our cars I wanted to cry. These men and woman of the greatest generation gave their all. Some lost their lives in Europe and the Pacific. The ones that came home built the greatest nation on earth. Today, I can't pinpoint exactly where it took the wrong turn, maybe with Carter  but this nation is nothing like it was as they started to die off. We have this Chicago street thug in the WH along with his willing accomplices in the Democrat and Republican party trying their damnest to see how quickly it takes to tear down everything the greatest generation built. I don't think it going to matter who wins in Nov 2010. It is too far gone. I just want to ride out the last years I have and hope there is some left for my grand kids but I don't see that happening right now. I know many of you hold out hope but I don't because I don't have one bit of confidence in the idiots running this country. What will  it take to stop the political games and do what is best for the USA and not the Democrat or Republican party?

I see Paul Ryan trying to do something only to be called a liar and everything they can throw at him by the thug in the WH, and the asswipes in his own party in Congress. That is why I see no hope.

A well regulated militia being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

#27 The GOP needs to get out there...

...and tell the people what Ryan's plan really does. Ryan himself, Marco Rubio, and a few others have shown they can explain the plan, so they need to get out there and really sell it to the American people and cut through the MSM/DNC lies about it.

They better fight this, because they have the advantage: the truth.

Progressives seem to be completely averse to facts and logic. Apparently, reality has a conservative bias.

#28 With the Republican Party supporting the Ryan plan

Democrats have just been given their opportunity to recruit strong candidates for the House and Senate. Just a 24-ish net gain needed to win back the House.

#29 The only way you and your

The only way you and your kind win is through lies, deception and demagoguery.  Without the backing of a robotically supportive Media, your destructive ideology would be rightfully marginalized for the crap it is. 

Enjoy your Statist utopia while you can for one day you and your like will be at the mercy of the angry masses fed up by your manipulations.  History has proven this time after time.

#30 Sure seems like the Democrat

won NY-26 pretty lie-free.

#31 ROFL

Yeah, that's the ticket.  No coattail Medicare demagoguery involved at all.

Please pack your lies and leave the island.  The tribe has voted you off.

#32 The human tribe, along with---

those members of an ornithological bent who happen to be covered  with feathers.

All in favor of boxing up Birdman and sending him packing posthaste say "aye".

Note:  There were no "nay" votes.

Even the birds think Birdman is exceptionally bird brained; even for a liberal loon.


"The credibility of the story is undermined by the selection of sources." - (h/t Jer)

#33 NY-26

"My side lost. It can only mean the other side lied and cheated to win."

It's kind of the constant refrain from losers of elections/sports/games.

You probably shouldn't engage in it.

#34 NY-26 revisited

And yours is the idiotic refrain of a team that is acting like its Hall of Fame Game victory is the equivalent of a Super Bowl victory. 

Your comments remind me of an idiot Yankee fan who was running around my university on Opening Day 2002 SCREAMING about the Yankees winning on Opening Day and running smack at me because the Astros lost.  I seem to recall that the Yankees didn't do so well in 2002 in spite of that victory. 

We realize, Icarus, how badly you want to cheerfully turn over every single last one of your economic and political freedoms to the government.  Unfortunately for you, this election simply does not mean there are millions of Americans dying to join you. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#35 Sure

Right.  Constantly vomiting "The evil Republicans are going to take you Medicare away from you!" isn't a lie.  Sure. 

Besides, NOBODY is getting it in 13 years if we don't do something about it.  And no, turning the government into a massive Pampering-and-Babying-Agency as you so badly want isn't it. 

434 more to go.  And sorry, this isn't a Socialist country.  This election tells me nothing as NY-23 told us nothing. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#36 "The Republican candidate

"The Republican candidate said she would vote to privatize Medicare" is basically what was said and is a true statement. That's what won NY-26 for the Democrat, and what's probably going to win other seats for Democrats as well.

No lies there.

#37 Well I am sure

When Medi-Care goes bankrupt, that will help the dimwits as well.

You libtards are so full of nonsense, it is truly stunning

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

#38 Don't whine when we are a third world country in 2030

"Basically what was said" is not "what was said". 

You can vote for other parties to try and lengthen the Medicare program, or you can vote for the Dems who will ensure NO ONE gets it after 2024. 

Icarus, you being a deeply self-absorbed Socialist thief, will vote for the Dems, because "Hey, after 2024, IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM!!!" 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#39 Stephen Moore's deception

That is Stephen Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal and founder of the Club for Growth. It's such a massive apples-to-oranges comparison, that it has to be pants on fire deceit:

"If the Democrats' millionaire surtax were to happen—and were added to other tax increases already enacted last year and other leading tax hike ideas on the table this year—this could leave the U.S. with a combined federal and state top tax rate on earnings of 62%. That's more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28% when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s."

To get the 62% Democratic tax rate figure, Moore includes federal income taxes, state income taxes, payroll taxes, and proposed tax changes that haven't been enacted yet and have little chance of being enacted.

To get the 28% Reagan tax rate figure, Moore just includes federal income taxes.

Indeed, if we were to include the same elements to the Reagan figure that were used to add up the Democratic figure, it would be more similar.

Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review does a further "[f]uzzy [m]ath [d]emolition" (as David Weigel described it) of Moore's column here:

#40 For the Socialist Thief

Icarus, why you think you have the right to steal from people who are successful because they are successful is beyond me. 

"CONSUMED DEMOCRACY RETURNS A SOCIALIST REGIME" - Slayer, "Fictional Reality", from Divine Intervention (1994)

#41 A sign of any great failure

Is when they neglect responsibility for their actions, and cast blame elsewhere. A spectacular failure, feels he has the right to steal from those he has demonized.

Icarus is a spectacular failure, obviously

Seek Truth, Defend Liberty

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