Monday, March 11, 2013

WaPo: What Do You Do When One Party is This Dishonest?

Jonathan Bernstein poses the question to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget in the Plum Line blog in The Washington Post.

This is no garden-variety flip-flop. It’s a fundamental decision to govern one way and campaign the exact opposite way.  This is one of those cases where it’s so audacious that reporters just don’t want to believe it. Sure, they’ll note that Republicans hit Obamacare on “death panels” or “government takeover” because those were clearly lies, and because they were the kind of smears that are consistent with conservative ideological rhetoric. But they didn’t advertise in 2010 on death panels, at least not all that much; they ran ads, again and again, attacking Democratic candidates for supporting those Medicare cuts.
The same Medicare cuts which they then turned around and supported in 2011 and 2012. And, after a brief break to run another campaign attacking those Medicare cuts, Ryan and House Republicans will turn around and once again support those cuts. I really can’t think of any comparably dishonest episode in recent American political history. To base not one but two campaigns on attacking the other party for a policy which, between elections, they support…it’s well beyond chutzpah. Oh, and that’s without even beginning to reckon with the fact that the House GOP’s larger Medicare plans call for much bigger long-term cuts than Obamacare made.

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