The Democrat Advantage
"The history of these primaries really begins twelve years ago when George W. Bush first ran for president on the theme of 'compassionate conservatism.' This notion allowed Bush to separate and contrast himself with the negative image of the GOP during the 1990s. During that decade, congressional Republicans proposed significant cuts to federal entitlement programs like Welfare, Medicare and Medicaid. These proposals made it easy for Bill Clinton and the Democrats to move to the political center. They cast then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole as callous, hostile to the poor and the elderly."
These same Republicans are STILL proposing huge, unpopular ideological cuts to social programs. In fact, you can look back to Truman's re-election troubles -- although he won -- and trace the beginnings of today's Republican "dirty" politics and hostility toward social programs.
Ducking the Medicare Crisis
"But the politics of Medicare have been poisonous, so toxic that Democrats haven’t been willing to engage seriously on the issue, while Republicans have advanced a proposal that would eviscerate Medicare rather than preserve it. The current effort to trim Medicare costs, through initiatives like limiting payment increases to health care providers, amounts to picking the low-hanging fruit. What comes next will surely be more painful and contentious."
"Some readers have asked me for a reaction to Steve Rattner’s piece on Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. The short answer is that it’s a classic piece of concern trolling -- the practice, all too common among a certain class of commentators, of professing sympathy with progressive policy goals, then, invariably, finding a way to support right-wing talking points. The way to cut through the whole double-counting nonsense is to ask the following: did the ACA improve or worsen the fiscal outlook compared with what it would have been without the legislation? The answer is that it improved the outlook -- the additional revenues plus cost savings outweigh the cost of the subsidies. End of story."
Congress and Romney Work Together
"Before Rep. Paul Ryan rolled out his controversial budget plan last month, there was one man eager to learn its details. Over the course of several phone calls with Romney, the Wisconsin Republican explained -- point by point -- his plan to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid and to cut the budget deficit. It gave Romney fodder to defend the plan against sharp campaign attacks. The private phone calls are one sign of increased communication between the presumptive presidential nominee’s team and top congressional Republicans, marking a new effort to build a relationship critical to their party’s success in November."
The Republican Reality-Free Zone
Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits (What! I thought family values meant the mother stayed home.)