The professional Left has a serious case of the vapors over the Democrat Kathleen Hochul winning this special election in upstate New York.
The conventional wisdom is that this is a rebuke of the Ryan plan for Medicare, and of course, tons of left-wing idiocy is afoot.
Both are wrong of course.
Special elections are always hinky affairs at best. With a fake tea party candidate in the race and the previous seat holder disgraced in a Craig’s List dating scandal, this wasn’t anything approaching “at best” for Republicans.
The NY GOP just sucks at these (as does the party nationally). They lost NY-20 when Kirsten Gillibrand was named to the Senate. They lost NY-23 when John McHugh was named Secretary of the Army (that was the whole Dede Scozzafava v. Doug Hoffman race). The one win was the race to replace Eric “The Tickler” Massa in NY-29 but that special was held concurrently with the general election last November.
The party picked candidates (NY doesn’t allow for primaries in specials, the county chairs name candidates) in NY-20 and NY-23 did lousy jobs.
That pretty much sums it up.
Ultimately, for those who think this was a rejection of the GOP’s medicare reform efforts, they’ll have to explain who the GOP candidate and the Tea Party candidate combined got more votes than the Democrat.
Read the whole post.
This was more of a special election issue, rather than a position on Medicare reform.
As Republicans in Congress use the Easter break to make their case for Paul Ryan’s entitlement reform to the American people, liberals would love it if constituents would start “raucous” town-hall meetings, a la the anti-Obamacare Tea Party events that took place during the summer of 2009.
Yes they would absolutely if that would happen. Too bad for them, because it isn’t:
How did things go for Republicans in their initial defense of the Ryan budget? Well, consider the intensity of the Left’s desire for an anti-GOP, anti-Ryan, “Town Hall Backlash” narrative. And then consider the relatively small number of “incidents” reported in the news, the sensational headlines that were never written. [...]
It might be too soon to say Republicans are winning the budget debate, but they definitely aren’t losing it, and that’s a real slap in the face for liberals who were absolutely convinced that Americans would never accept a plan as bold as Ryan’s.
Meanwhile, look at this “outrage” at Paul Ryan’s most recent town-hall (via):
These people are outraged I say. Outraged!
As this Wall Street Journal piece notes, President Obama has submitted a budget just for the sake of submitting a budget. All of the talk these past few months about “serious” decisions on the budget reforms, the deficit, entitlement reforms, etc. are pretty much ignored. A bi-partisan deficit commission? Is there any doubt now that this was nothing but fluff?
Needless to say, Obama has set a low bar for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as he crafts the GOP’s budgetary rebuttal. Ryan has scheduled a series of hearings next week to review the president’s budget and hear testimony from OMB Director Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Expect a thorough grilling, in particular as to why the White House refused to touch entitlements. “If the president’s budget ignores [entitlement] programs, that means he is abdicating leadership on dealing with the deficit,” Ryan said on Fox New Sunday. “Presidents are elected to lead, not to punt, and this president has been punting.”
In all fairness, the WSJ piece points out that Republicans are not exactly lighting it up when it comes to addressing entitlement reform. But that’s really not the point.
In 2008, Obama, and by extension, the Democrats, were elected because they were considered the new grown-ups in Washington. Remember all the talk about winning elections and cars in ditches and all that nonsense? Yeah, about that.
The White House is more than happy for Republicans to come out and actually make the difficult decisions, and pay the political price for them.