Suicidal tendencies

Digby talks about TeaPublican young gun Paul Ryan’s plans to gut Medicare, and she can’t imagine how the GOP can survive it. It’s well worth a read.

If it is true that Paul Ryan’s plan includes privatizing Medicare in ten years, then I think he’s just lost the House in 2012 and they might as well run the Trump-Bachman ticket just for the entertainment value. They are dead if they do this, particularly with this big splash — and a week after they declared war on AARP.

I’m not sure who these people think are supposed to vote for them, but the young, wealthy racist vote just isn’t going to get the job done.

Of course, Digby’s a smart woman and knows that the Democrats have a long-standing history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I have little doubt that the Democrats are stupid enough to mess with Social Security in the years after 2030. That’s a long way off and will only affect people who don’t realize how badly they are going to need it. But they would be suicidal to even talk about Medicare after what the Republicans just did to them in 2010 with it.

Ah, foibles of our politicians. Ryan’s plan calls for a voucher system for the elderly to buy insurance — meaning they’ll have to be “smart shoppers” to get a deal that won’t bankrupt them before they even have a chance to use their new voucher. Forcing the elderly to navigate the bullshit insurance companies will throw at them is, in Digby’s word, “insane.”

And I can guarantee that the entire baby boom is going to defect from the GOP in massive numbers if they try this. Huge numbers of us are having to count the days until we are old enough to get Medicare because our coverage is so damned expensive. (And Health Care Reform isn’t going to help those of us 50 somethings who are middle class all that much.) I have to assume they think they can get Obama to sign on to some sort of compromise on this out of fear of being seen as fiscally irresponsible — it’s not the sort of thing you’d risk doing as a feint. But they misunderstand him, I think. He will compromise on anything but health care. And if the Democrats even have a pulse, once this is out there, every Republican is going to own it.

I’m sure, though, that the Republicans will lie their way through this, making us all think that what they’re doing isn’t going to send us all to the poor houses they suggest we should bring back.

In Shakespeare’s words, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”