OWNING THE 'ROADMAP'
- From: chatnoir <wolfbat359a@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 13:40:58 -0800 (PST)
OWNING THE 'ROADMAP'.... When congressional Republicans tapped House
Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to delivered the GOP's
response to the State of the Union, it probably struck the party as an
uncontroversial move. The Wisconsin Republican is a mild-mannered
lawmaker, adored by the media, who'll very likely avoid the Jindal-
like embarrassment we saw two years ago.
But Ryan's selection carries a broader significance. He is, after all,
the architect of a very radical budget "roadmap," and the more
Republican leaders rally behind Ryan, the more they take ownership of
his extremist blueprint.
Indeed, this morning, the perpetually-confused, House Majority Leader,
Eric Cantor (R-Va.), said on "Meet the Press" that "the direction in
which the roadmap goes is something we need to embrace."
The wording of that endorsement is obviously pretty awkward, but the
sentiment is unmistakable. This strikes me as pretty important --
before the midterm elections, Eric Cantor notably refused to endorse
Paul Ryan's roadmap. Now he thinks the budget blueprint is "something
we need to embrace."
Ezra Klein noted the larger dangers the other day.
....The more they elevate Ryan, the more they elevate Ryan's Roadmap.
And that document is a timebomb for them: It doesn't just privatize
Medicare, but it holds costs down by giving seniors checks that won't
keep up with the price of health care. It privatizes much of Social
Security. It cuts taxes on the rich while raising them on many in the
middle class. [...]
Putting Ryan up as the face of the party suggests they know how
important it is to seem like they have a plan. Without one, however,
they're going to end up answering for his.
Ezra wrote this on Friday, before Cantor told a national television
audience he agreed with the "direction" of Ryan's radical plan.
In other words, we're entering the phase in which Republicans are no
longer able to credibly distance themselves from Ryan's roadmap, and
they're apparently prepared to stop even trying.
For Democrats, that's actually excellent news. For the better part of
two years, the GOP hasn't offered Dems anything but vague targets to
criticize, because Republicans didn't have a policy agenda with any
meat on the bones. If, as Cantor sees it, it's time for his party to
"embrace" the roadmap, then it changes the conversation.
And what a conversation it is. Every fair-minded analysis makes clear
that Ryan's roadmap is a right-wing fantasy, slashing taxes on the
rich while raising taxes for everyone else. The plan calls for
privatizing Social Security and gutting Medicare, and fails miserably
in its intended goal -- cutting the deficit. As Paul Krugman
explained, the Ryan plan "is a fraud that makes no useful contribution
to the debate over America's fiscal future."
When Republican candidates embrace this plan to radically transform
governmental institutions and Americans' way of life, they're
endorsing a Republican vision of governing more extreme than anything
we've seen in the modern political era.
And as of this morning, the House Majority Leader believes it's a
vision the Republican Party needs "needs to embrace."
Let the debate begin. It's one the GOP will lose, whether Cantor
realizes it or not.
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