Sunday, May 29, 2011

Own It!

In the wake of the GOP defeat in NY-26, two of my favorites, Jonah Goldberg and Mona Charen, have independently posted similar pieces at NRO warning the Republicans that they had better learn quickly how to defend the Ryan Budget Plan as they're saddled with it already whether they like it or not. 

The problem the GOP has is two-fold:  First, the plan is not easily reducible to a sound-bite, or at least not a sound-bite that easily explains and thereby defends it.  But, second, it is easily reducible to a target of demogoguery.  Witness the Democrat friendly add of a Paul Ryan look-a-like pushing grandma in a wheelchair off the edge of a cliff.  The Democrat "Mediscare" tactic is time-tested and, as they have no new ideas, we can expect them to use it again and again.

The first problem is a real one for the Republicans.  The Ryan Plan is comprehensive, not just about Medicare, making it very difficult to talk about in pieces.  Frankly, I have no good advice about solving this problem other than being persistent. 

The second problem, however, is actually no problem at all.  The Republicans should counter the grandma over the cliff add with one of their own showing the Dems driving off the cliff, pedal to the metal, a big foot pushing the accelerator through the floorboard.  I've mentioned this before, but the first words out of every GOP politicians mouth should be that "there is no Medicare as we know it."  They should continue with something like, "Democrat budgetary irresponsibility has killed it.  Their only fix is to replace it with Obamacare, or, as it used to be called, socialized medicine, replete with the long lines and rationing that always attend it".

That's a start anyway.  But one thing is clear:  In no fashion should they run from the plan.  If nothing else, it communcates the stubborn fact that, so far, there is only one set of adults in the room and they all come from the party of Lincoln.

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