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GOP Rep. Paul Ryan handed House Democrats the perfect wedge issue last week, and they're going to use it.

House Democrats want to kick House Republicans where it hurts, and are exploring ways to force the minority party to take a stand on Rep. Paul Ryan's budget "roadmap" that has become a political minefield in advance of this fall's elections.

A Democratic leadership source told TPMDC they are considering options for turning the Ryan plan into a bill. Once that's done the Democrats would put the bill on the floor, forcing Republicans to vote for or against a plan they don't want to talk about.

Why is it such a minefield? Because he wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, and has put GOP leadership in a very difficult position: of course Republicans want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare, it's been their raison d'etre since the programs were established. But they're coming off of a year in which their loudest opposition to the Democrats' healthcare reform bill was "Medicare cuts." Yglesias links to a Roll Call story:

Republican leaders bashed the Democratic health care plans for cutting more than $400 billion out of Medicare, but GOP budget hawks view controlling Medicare costs as essential to balancing the budget.

A Republican who asked to have his name withheld said the party’s leadership and rank and file aren’t ready to follow Ryan’s lead. “There’s a lot of worry that we beat the Democrats up on health care for cutting Medicare and now we’re going to turn around and do it,” the Republican said.

As Matt says, the major difference here is that the Dems had very targeted cuts aimed at whittling away at inefficiencies in Medicare, while Ryan's budget "just goes after Medicare with a chain saw." And he's doubling down on his plan, despite opposition in his own party.

A floor vote on Ryan's Republican budget could be the best thing that's happened for Democrats in months. It exposes the depths of Republican hypocrisy in the HCR debate and would force an extremely difficult political vote. What Republican wants to vote to slash Social Security and Medicare in an election year, other than Paul Ryan.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The biggest mistake a Republican can make: (39+ / 0-)
    Actually telling people what you want to do.

    No one told him he was just supposed to shout "Freedom!" at the top of his lungs.

    Fight until we win. Then we can begin arguing about the details. - Kwickkick (RIP) 2009

    by RickMassimo on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:15:52 PM PST

    •  lol, yep. (10+ / 0-)

      Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

      by LaFeminista on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah.. but it's not getting any play at all.. (7+ / 0-)

      it's nowhere to be found on CNN, CBS, MSNBC or ABC news web sites.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:24:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call me pessimistic (7+ / 0-)

      But just reading the language of that piece, i.e. "exploring ways" and "hey are considering options for turning the Ryan plan into a bill" makes me think that no way are they going to ram this through and force a vote.   They're going to "explore options" and decide that they really need to keep their powder dry for when something really important comes along.  Count on it.

    •  Dems must go on record against VAT (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickMassimo, pademocrat, Karl Rover

      Ryan has made this a cornerstone of his program...

      A GOP Road Map for America's Future

      There's still time to rejuvenate our market economy and avoid a European-style welfare state.

      http://online.wsj.com/...

      The proposal eliminates the alternative minimum tax. It promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. It eliminates the death tax. It replaces the corporate income tax—currently the second highest in the industrialized world—with a business consumption tax of 8.5%. This new rate is roughly half the average in the industrialized world and will put American companies and workers in a stronger position to compete in a global economy.

      Unfortunately, a few Dems (Pelosi, E Emanuel, Podesta) have also expressed support for a national sales tax.

      Now is the time to repudiate any attempt at a natoional sales tax.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:33:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you have against VAT? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RickMassimo, lcdrjsm, sturunner

        Very popular in Europe.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:58:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  VAT is a Regressive Tax (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zeke L, RickMassimo, dewley notid

          The VAT is a very regressive VAT which would negatively impact working and middle-class Americans.

          If Dems want to be relegated to the wilderness for a generation, they will support the VAT.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

          by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:07:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's also very simple, requires no filing, and (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RickMassimo, lcdrjsm, sturunner

            can catch a bigger share of the underground economy than the current income tax.

            In those ways, it's probably better and fairer than the current scheme, which rewards the well-do-to with loopholes that the poor can't afford.

            What does it say that the VAT is most popular in the very countries that progressives try to emulate?

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:18:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let's talk Trigger (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zeke L, NoMoreLies, RickMassimo, dinotrac

              Dinotrac, you want a VAT in the US, let's talk Gini Coefficient.

              Let's overhaul our fiscal code with the objective of reducing inequality, as measured by the Gini Coefficient.

              Once, and only once, the US achieves the equality of Europe, as measured by the Gini Coefficient, do we trigger a VAT.

              Please note that in a country with the wealth disparity of the US, this may involve some type of wealth (net worth) tax on the very affluent.

              You still want your VAT?

              Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

              by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:25:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why do I care about the Gini Coefficient? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RickMassimo, lcdrjsm

                It's hard to know exactly what it means, anyway.

                If one country receives more immigrants than another, it's likely to have a higher index.
                If one country has a younger population than another, it's likely to have a higher index.

                Besides -- which way would a disparity index actually argue when speaking VAT.

                For example -- except for real estate, we tend not to tax wealth in the US.  A VAT could, at least, catch some part of wealth used to purchase goods and services.

                Besides, it's a little strange to complain about regressive taxes when we already apply a large and regressive tax -- more regressive than VAT on low-wage earners: 15.1% in the form of Social Security + Medicare tax.  At least the VAT tax rewards those who scrimp and save a few dollars by leaving those dollars untaxed.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:37:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll tell u how - the 170K speeding ticket (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NoMoreLies, RickMassimo, dinotrac

                  Use the Fiscal Code to moderate the disparity in wealth.

                  How?

                  Use tax policy to redistribute wealth.

                  Right now, our Gini Coefficient is about 47.

                  In the EU, it's about 31.

                  Let's introduce more progressive user fees to bridge the gap.  In Finland, you get stopped for speeding, you pay as much as US$ 170K in a speeding fine.

                  How much would Larry Ellison pay if he were caught speeding in Palo Alto?

                  Dinotrac, let's bridge the gap, then we can discuss a VAT.

                  Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                  by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:46:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Philosophical difference, I guess. (0+ / 0-)

                    I have high hopes for my kids.

                    One thing puzzles, me though.

                    EU is the home of some fabulously wealthy people.
                    It's where they build Ferraris, Lanborghinis, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Mercedes, etc.
                    It is the epicenter of Haute Couture, not to mention both F1 racing and polo, two of the most effete sporting enterprises known to man.

                    I can't imagine the EU being more equal than we are unless its just that much harder to become wealthy in the EU.

                    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                    by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:14:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  EU far more Equal (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NoMoreLies, dinotrac

                      Let's glance at the number of US Billionaires...

                      360

                      How many in Europe - Russia - Turkey...

                      170

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                      Generally speaking, the tax code in Europe discourages very high salaries, even at the Sr VP level.

                      Not so in the US, not since Reagan.

                      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                      by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:29:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sounds like it maintains royal traditions... (0+ / 0-)

                        a pampered elite that the hoi polloi can't hope to join.

                        By contrast, if you look at some of the wealthiest Americans like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Mark Cuban didn't start out ultra-rich.

                        Heck, Mark Cuban tended bar at one point.

                        Again, it's a matter of preference.  I'd just as soon live in a society that encourages and enables people to succeed instead of protecting the privileged status of an elite class.

                        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                        by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:46:57 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I like the US better too, but... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...don't insist on the VAT.

                          Dinotrac, as President Obama said during the campaign, our working and middle-class have seen wage stagnation for over a decade.

                          And now you want to impose a VAT on them?

                          You saw how Dems reacted to the excise tax.  Imagine how they would react to a national sales tax.

                          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

                          by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 04:00:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on how you implement VAT (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RickMassimo

            in a number of countries, basics (food, public transport, children's clothing etc) are VAT-excempt, or are taxed at a lower rate. That makes it a non-regressive tax.

            The FOX is a common carrier of rabies, a virus that leaves its victims foaming at the mouth and causes paranoia and hallucinations.

            by Calouste on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:52:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  so the repu DO have a plan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickMassimo

      guess i owe them an apology (or at least congressman ryan): i clearly spoke too soon earlier today.

      51 senators is a majority.
      no more excuses.

      by zeke L on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:43:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  if their thoughts dreams get seen the people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickMassimo, sturunner

      will put their heads in the guillotine...*

      *with apologies to bob dylan

  •  Great...now the media will spin this as a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, The Termite, RickMassimo, dinotrac

    Democratic proposal, and the Republicans will call it political grandstanding, and it will have zero positive effect.

    Far better just to censure the fucker for proposing such idiocy and make him shut the hell up.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:17:34 PM PST

    •  If Republicans are smart, they won't call it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      relentless, darthstar, Dissentinator

      grandstanding. They will very publicly scratch their heads and wonder why the Democratic leadership would even consider scrapping Social Security.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:26:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. And again, it's a waste of time to even (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Termite, skyounkin, dinotrac, eXtina

        consider this proposal or bring it to a vote.  Voters don't give a crap about fake legislation meant to fail. They want real legislation.

        Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:28:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to mention, yet again taking attention away (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Termite, darthstar, eXtina

          from jobs.

          How can Democratic leadership expect to be taken seriously on jobs if they waste time on crap like this?  Credibility is already getting thin.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:32:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let them go on record one way or the other.... (0+ / 0-)

          So far republicans have been able to play it both ways. They get to scare the elderly by saying the Dems want to cut medicare yet they tell their base they want to end the socialist medicare system. Voting for/against this bill is bound to upset one group or the others.

    •  The mistake was making a proposal (0+ / 0-)

      instead of just shutting up and making it happen. Bringing it to a vote under GOP sponsorship would be game-changing. Maybe even bringing it to a vote in the name of "bipartisanship" would be game-changing. It's all in the details.

      Why you'd prefer another sternly worded letter to some psycho wingnut is beyond me.

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:35:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  EXACTLY - the GOP will bounce it back at Dems (0+ / 0-)

      There's absolutely no reason that Dems need to be "considering options for turning the Ryan plan into a bill."

      Put Ryan's plan, authored by him, up for a res of support or denial at most but if DEMS turn it into a bill the GOP will turn right around, put up a link to the bill sponsored by some Dem or another, and then voila ... it's the "Dems' evil plan to eliminate Social Security and Medicare."

      All the GOP has to do is muddy the waters and confuse voters just enough to dilute the Dems "winning" message.

      ...My take - Leave the Ryan plan speak as it is. It stands well enough on its own as an example of what the GOP wants to do.

  •  I hope that Dems use the same rhetorical abandon (12+ / 0-)
    Republicans would use if the situation were reversed.  We need a lot more trash talk.

    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:17:35 PM PST

  •  Yet more evidence... (12+ / 0-)
    ...that Nancy Pelosi has bigger balls than Harry Reid.
  •  Can they also find their balls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2
    and vote for the Senate HCR bill as the President has asked?

    People need to figure out that the reason HCR has stalled is because the House Dems have stalled it. They are afraid of the current politcal environment and do not want to cast a vote they think is unpopular even when the White House has been demanding it for weeks.  They should lead in this moment, recognize the new political environment and pass the Senate HCR bill before it is too late.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:17:47 PM PST

    •  The House will not unilaterally pass ... (0+ / 0-)

      the Senate bill. The votes aren't there. It's a given of the situation.

      You might with better reason ask:

      Will the Senate find their [bodyparts] and pass a reconciliation bill that overcomes the House objections?

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:37:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I challenge the assumption that the votes aren't (0+ / 0-)

        there.  The votes are there.  They just don't want to cast them. In the Senate, the problem is the GOP and all of the tools they have to delay and obstruct.

        The House doesn't have that problem.  All they need to do is get the votes from their own party.  What the House is asking for in terms of a reconcilation rider does not impact the core elements that are in the Senate bill.  That tells me that the House isn't really serious about their criticisms of the Senate bill. They are just posturing for political cover. They need to act like adults and do what the President has asked of them.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:22:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like a good plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darthstar, RickMassimo

    Of course, looking at our leadership's track record I almost wouldn't be surprised if the bill ended up actually passing.

  •  It's a fine idea. I just hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickMassimo, Floande
    that Democrats can pull together long enough to actually execute a group plan. Of course, the Republicans are going to let go of their end of this rope very quickly.

    Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -Herodotus

    by TerribleTom on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:19:02 PM PST

  •  And as to Health Care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson
    K. Sebelius says after this little hoedown between Prez and the Box of Teabags, it will likely be peddle to the metal from that point forward - with or without bags.

    "I certainly think so. I think he sees this as a step to actually accelerating the process forward. He wants to move forward. He wants a bill at his desk and he sees this as kind of closing the loop and let's go."
  •  The Dems (7+ / 0-)

    have never given any indication that they understand wedge politics so I'm not holding out any great hope that this'll change anytime soon.

    These are the people that cannot even drive a wedge between ignorant racist f%$#wits and the GOP country club.

    Harry Reid's lack of backbone is an act, his obstructionism isn't.

    by stevej on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:19:32 PM PST

  •  And the idiotic theater begins again. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooners, J M F, eXtina

    Let us dance while Rome burns, shall we?

    Of course, the joke is on us. We're the idiots who keep giving them the time of day.

    We've got to stop all this grandstanding and shameless spinning before it finally breaks our country.

    I mean, we're looking at the decline of a superpower, and we're worried about how to do this?

    Let me know if sanity ever returns, or if the grownups actually decide to run things for a while.

    -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

    by Zikar on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:20:22 PM PST

    •  It does raise some interesting questions, like... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      Yet another thing to avoid the problems of the unemployed, especially the long-term unemployed?

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:28:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's about winning (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, skohayes, Egalitare

      We can't address any problems of our superpower if there are enough Republicans and allied conservadems and blue dogs to block even the most incremental progress.

      Winning is sometimes silly, but it beats losing.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:30:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just get so fed up. (0+ / 0-)

        When did it become bad policy to call a duck a duck?

        We've got real fucking problems here, but it ends up being the same old people doing the same stupid things, and yet we treat them as legitimate and intelligent items each and every goddamn fucking time.

        It pisses me off. A lot. I'm just afraid of the big "I told ya so" I'm going to be giving in a couple of years.

        -3.62, -6.21 Steadfastly refusing to comment on Sarah Palin since 11/16/09.

        by Zikar on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:42:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's say it goes the way we think it will (0+ / 0-)

        At the end of this gambit, what do we have that we didn't have before?

        YOU grab a mop. I'm gonna invent a car that runs on hate.

        by The Termite on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:54:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Votes in the 2010 generals (0+ / 0-)

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:46:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How does that translate? (0+ / 0-)

            Respectfully (and I MEAN that), this supposes that the media is going to cover this the way we see it from here and I think that's a mistake.  It also supposes that there are undecideds or moderates or independents out there who merely need to be shown evidence that the Republicans are being obstructionist and hypocritical and corporatist who have not figured that out already.  It also supposes that those same people will be nuanced enough to understand that even though Democrats proposed this legislation they didn't really mean it.  I don't see it winning us a single vote.

            YOU grab a mop. I'm gonna invent a car that runs on hate.

            by The Termite on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:59:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Attack ads (0+ / 0-)

              If we have the mean spirits to unleash our hounds, we can run ads saying "Rep so and so voted to privatize SS and / or Medicare".

              If they vote against it, they leave themselves vulnerable to tea bag attacks.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:24:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Harry Truman did this in 1948. (14+ / 0-)
    He forced the GOP to voet against their own crap agenda. Then ridiculed them for it for the entiore campaign. Hence the "Do-Nothing" Congress was born.
  •  It's About Time We Played Offense. It's A (13+ / 0-)

    mystery why every democrat isn't proclaiming far and wide that the Social Security Trust fund is made up of the wage contributions of generations workers.  

    Defending that money (if described accurately) from rapacious liars - who routinely call disabled recipients "deadbeats looking for "handouts" is a surefire political winner.

  •  I hate to be cynical... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, nancat357, axel000

    so color me skeptical.

    I haven't seen a lot of evidence that Congressional Democrats are good at strategy.

    I hope they show me wrong...

  •  This is more than a wedge issue. This is a clear (8+ / 0-)

    statement of their intent to dismantle our social programs.  Imho, it's beyond a political ploy.  It's throwing down the glove.

  •  They're going to wait a couple weeks for the vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    Because they want to keep hitting on this issue in the mean time to get the most bang for their buck.  

    I think Ryan will either pull his budget or the House GOP will also vote against it.

    Maybe they're holding it off two weeks to make the vote closer to the Obama CSpan meeting with all sides.  

    Playing politics while people die.

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:23:52 PM PST

  •  But again this requires 2 things: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, gdunn
    guts and a spine. Will they find these? I hope so!
  •  I suspect the "bi-partisan" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Egalitare
    healthcare meeting with Obama and the Republican Reps in front of cameras will attempt to do the same thing.  I hope.

    Let Obama be Obama.

    by Yoshimi on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:24:35 PM PST

  •  I don't quite see the logic ... (5+ / 0-)

    in Democrats drafting legislation they oppose and bringing it to the floor. The Republicans will vote against it and the headlines will be ... what? ...

    Republicans vote against Democratic bill to eliminate Social Security and Medicare

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:25:16 PM PST

    •  Bingo -- That is exactly what will happen. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jerseyite, Demi Moaned

      And they will shake their heads and wonder why a"rogue" Republican (or even a few) would cooperate with Democrats in trying to dismantle the safey net.

      Disclaimer:

      That scenario presumes that they are not dumber than stone, which has not been conclusively proven, although...

      the election trend does indicate a learning curve.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:31:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  we're not drafting the legislation (0+ / 0-)

      ryan already has it ready to go, and according to the article he's ready to take it to the floor despite the disapprobation of his fellow GOPers.

      so our job is just to denounce the republican plan to eliminate social security and medicare, then allow ryan to bring it to the floor, where it will fail overwhelmingly.

      then we get to say "geez, the republicans even voted no on their own plan."

      of course, that requires congressional dems to actually carry out a strategy, which remains to be seen.  but at least it's the house and not the senate.

      51 senators is a majority.
      no more excuses.

      by zeke L on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:53:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you base that on? (0+ / 0-)

        From the story above:

        A Democratic leadership source told TPMDC they are considering options for turning the Ryan plan into a bill. Once that's done the Democrats would put the bill on the floor, forcing Republicans to vote for or against a plan they don't want to talk about.
        [Emphasis added.- DM]

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:57:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i was reading the TPM story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Demi Moaned

          which says

          A Democratic leadership source told TPMDC they are considering options for putting the Ryan plan on the floor, forcing Republicans to vote for or against a plan they don't want to talk about.This appears to be the Ryan bill, with seven GOP co-sponsors.

          not sure where the other came from in your or mcJ's blockquote.  but yeah, if you're right and we have to be the ones to write the bill and put up some sponsors, that would be idiotic.

          51 senators is a majority.
          no more excuses.

          by zeke L on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:21:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What's the difficult position? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    relentless

    Maybe for a few, but the easy way out is to say

    "I certainly respect rep Ryan's concern for deficits, but I don't understand why the Democrats would even consider some of the cuts in this bill.  Sometimes, philosophy takes you places where practicality and compassion say you shouldn't go".

    Seriously -- how many Republicans represent constituencies that want to get rid of Social Security?  Medicare maybe a few more, but I'd still be surprised if voting against the bill hurt man Republicans.

    In fact, it might help --

    Instead of being the extremist party of No, they can be the rational defenders of Social Security.  Makes them less scary to independents who outnumber Republicans anyway.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:25:36 PM PST

  •  How do the mechanics of this work? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    relentless, eXtina

    being a legislative illiterate, I'm stuck on trying to figure out how we make the minority introduce legislation?

    Remember, even if we introduce it as a "you wanted it? now vote on it" issue, these same GOP'ers who want to eliminate SS and medicare will be claiming that democrats tried to eliminate them.

  •  This is how to do it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, skohayes

    First, induce the GOP to tell lots and lots of lies. This is the easy part.

    Then, introduce a bill that requires them to either admit they are liars, or vote for Democratic ideas.

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    Eventually even the Palinites will wise up.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:26:53 PM PST

    •  The 1st tricky part: authorship and ownership... (0+ / 0-)

      Who would not only submit this bill but also agree to do the Sunday Morning advocacy of it. It would take a Blue Dog who has already announced s/he is not going to stand for re-election in November in order to have sufficient "plausible deniability" for the Village ("This brave Congress member is giving us a cautionary warning of failure to focus on budget discipline" or some other bullshit that is part of the narrative).

      That's a pretty small list already, isn't it?

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:09:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wall Street is the 'Wedge Issue' (5+ / 0-)

    Wall Street Reform, real reform that is in line with what our party stands for, is the issue.  All other issues should be in service to this issue.  Show Main Street that we're really there for them.  No more crying wolf.

    There is no other issue.  This is the issue, there is no other issue.  Unless we want we want a can of Populist Whoop-Ass opened on us come November.

    IMHO, whichever Party moves to harness the righteous and justified Main Street Outrage at  Wall Street will be the Party that wins come November and beyond.

    This should be a no-brainer for Democrats.  This is our stated reason for existence, is it not?

  •  I am sure they will just get... (0+ / 0-)
    75 votes in bright red districts and the others will chicken out...but hey it can't hurt...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:27:43 PM PST

  •  The DNC needs to make a commercial... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    ...featuring head Congressional wingnutess (and Lt. Madam Teabag) Michelle Bachmann telling a small group at the Constitutional Coalition's St. Louis meeting this week that she intends to "wean everybody off" Social Security and Medicare.

  •  How would they do this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    If the Reps are smart, they won't let a Republican turn this into a bill. So would Dems make it their bill? That would sure muddy the waters hopelessly. It seems too bad the idea became public before some teabagging Rep decided to grandstand by forcing a bill onto the agenda.

    It's a great idea in concept. Can anyone explain how it would work in real life?

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:30:12 PM PST

  •  Apparently the GOP Leadership... (0+ / 0-)
    has not been listening to their base when they were screaming for government to keep their hands of their Medicare...
  •  It's way too mean a play for Democrats. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover

    They'll never do it.  After all, that would be acting too tough.  They may not go to heaven and all the voters will think they are being political instead of .... ah .... something else.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:32:03 PM PST

  •  This is terrifying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    If the democrats bring up a Social Security bill, then, Faux type news will twist it around that the republicans voted for it in the name of bipartisanship.

    Please don't even think about putting a bill out that will eliminate Social Security and Medicare.  There are enough DLC, Blue Dogs and Republicans to pass it.  Think Bill Nelson and Kent Conrad.

    I have no faith in these people who are governing, except for a very few of them.

  •  Do the same with the GOP health care plan... (0+ / 0-)

    Turn that seven page piece of crap toilet paper plan into a bill and have the GOP vote on it.  But do it before the GOP primaries so their crazy tea-bagger candidates can trash the GOP Reps on it.

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:32:37 PM PST

  •  Just watch the Blue Dogs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chipoliwog, NoMoreLies, eXtina

    ...break ranks and vote for it, mixing the message.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:34:27 PM PST

  •  'Bout time (0+ / 0-)

    the Dems use the GOP's own ideas against them.  And it is in writing!  

    http://www.thehamandlegsshow.com

  •  Healthcare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    Do we all have short term memory loss, or is it because the GOP have finally composed 2 documents that the DEMS will hopefully step-up.

    Rep. Weiner proposed an amendment to end Medicare funding last year, during a sub-committee hearing and of course there were NO GOP votes for that.

    But if Ryan will put his "legislative plan" into an actual Bill and sign it as sponser, then this will be more than rhetorical BS. Having read the contents (thus far released and details are scarce), his plan is even more restrictive than Price (HR3400), which is pretty hard to believe!

    The Social Security ploy is clear that the lower income individuals will not benefit, although if you make >$147K, this is an early Christmas gift that will be yours forever and best yet...TAX FREE

  •  Brilliant! (0+ / 0-)

    Than President Obama Can Prove to America -

    They're just Against Whatever He Supports

  •  Ryan lovefest in Milwaukee media (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies
    Ryan gets a lot of attention in the Milwaukee media because he is seen as a rising star with possible national ambitions. He's just so darn decent and sincere! And he's worries about the deficit--even though he loved the Bush tax cuts and unfunded wars.

    His proposals are the same old warmed over tax-cut crap. Trickle down doesn't work and Americans don't want Wall Street messing with social security! Hammer him!

  •  And Bachman wants to "wean" people... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scribeboy, skohayes

    .
    . . . off of Social Security and Medicare, because things were so good for our elderly pre-New Deal.

    "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

    by BenGoshi on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:43:47 PM PST

    •  how can we be weaned... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi
      ... off of Michele Bachman?

      But seriously, Bachman could cover probably 10 or 20 elderly folks a month with her future Congressional pension. Is she going to do it? Or is she just going to send them some Alpo cans and call it a day?

  •  Wedge? More like a putter. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi
  •  Or. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite, eXtina

    The Democratic Party, which largely ran on a platform of sane centrism and health care reform, and which has a giant House majority, can pass a health care reform bill and implement policies of the sane center.

    But noooOOooo they'd rather play gotcha games.

  •  Isn't it nice to know... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, The Termite, Karl Rover
    ....that democrats can muster up energy to hang republicans on their own petard.  Now if only we could get them energized about, oh I don't know, passing legislation that will save lives and keep people from bankrupcy because they had the bad sense to get sick.

    These days, politics only serve to give people an excuse to be assholes.

    by DawnG on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:45:14 PM PST

  •  ALLTHIs posturing to make a point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite
    why do we have to waste our legislators' time like this instead of getting actual work done?
    •  EXACTLY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      There is no upside to this.  It accomplishes precisely nothing, except making Ryan look like a schmuck to people who already know he's a fucking schmuck.

      YOU grab a mop. I'm gonna invent a car that runs on hate.

      by The Termite on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:56:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We want Ryan to look like a schmuck (0+ / 0-)

        especially since the media around here treats him with kid gloves so the rubes think he is a "moderate" rather than a reactionary who wants to return this country to the McKinley era. Fight on, I want this corporate tool fool retired from my district!

        "Big Darkness, soon come"-Hunter S. Thompson

        by NoMoreLies on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:38:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOoPers will tie themselves utterly into knots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927

    before the next election....btw....they can be quite vicious.

  •  This is nothing but political theatre. What the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite

    democrats need to do is pass something. HCR, Bank and finance reform, etc etc.
    That will be better for 2010 elections than anything else. ENOUGH!

    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read." Groucho Mark

    by hester on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:48:20 PM PST

  •  You want a Wedge issue? Here's your wedge issue: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, skohayes, Dirtandiron, eXtina
    Link:
    "Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito may not have wanted to hear it during the State Of The Union address, but a new poll shows the majority of Americans agree with President Obama's take on the Citizens United ruling. More than 60 percent of respondents say it was a bad idea. The opposition was found across party lines, and according to the pollsters was especially common among independents -- the group both parties have desperately fought over for a decade now. The pollsters said that result suggests that the parties would be well-served to take on the ruling and reinstate campaign finance regulations canceled out by the ruling with new law."
    Needless to say -- President Obama and the Democrats should make effectively repealing Citizens United a KEY issue during the campaign -- and beat the GOP over the head with it.
  •  Bachman wants to get rid of Socxial Security... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and Medicare as well as Think Progress and others noted.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Pass Medicare buy-in for all via reconciliation, since it is fiscally related (and sound) policy.

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:48:29 PM PST

  •  Proof that karma does exist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, skohayes

    Remember all those booby-trap votes the Repubs cast on social conservative wedge issues?  About time we got a chance for payback.

    GOP=Grand Obstructionist Party

    by Christian Dem in NC on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:50:29 PM PST

  •  Too clever by half (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, eXtina
    This doesn't even need to be spun as a "gotcha."  It is that on its surface.  Voters are not angry at Congressional incumbents because they're not clever enough or because they don't do a thorough enough job trying to pants each other like this.

    This would give the malcontents more ammunition.  This is a dumb idea.  And a waste of Congressional salaries, overhead, and time.

    YOU grab a mop. I'm gonna invent a car that runs on hate.

    by The Termite on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:52:43 PM PST

  •  It's a trap. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    A Democratic leadership source told TPMDC they are considering options for turning the Ryan plan into a bill. Once that's done the Democrats would put the bill on the floor, forcing Republicans to vote for or against a plan they don't want to talk about.

    uh.. can we talk about this?

    If the Democrats put forth this bill, and no Republicans co-sponsor, who the hell is going to be left holding exactly what bag?

    Are the Democrats really as stupid as they are trying to prove themselves to be?

    - bp

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite

      GOP votes against scrapping Social Security and Medicare that the Dem drafted bill would have done. That will really hurt them with the general voting public right?

      (shakes head)

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Pass Medicare buy-in for all via reconciliation, since it is fiscally related (and sound) policy.

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:56:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a sign is what it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina

        You know you're irretrievably fucked when you've got a once-in-a-lifetime majority that can't actually pass shit for legislation but floats balloons like this one which suggest that all they talk about over crabcakes is "Hey, wouldn't it be hilarious if we..."

        YOU grab a mop. I'm gonna invent a car that runs on hate.

        by The Termite on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:58:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then they don't bring the (0+ / 0-)

      bill to a vote. It's a budget written by a republican, if no Republicans even sign on as a co-sponsors, the bill is dropped, and we laugh and point at the Republicans.
      If the bill comes to the floor, the Democrats can easily defeat it, and we point and laugh at Republicans who either voted to cut Medicare and Social Security (great for upcoming elections) or vote against it, looking like hypocrites.

      Save the Earth! It's the only one that has chocolate.

      by skohayes on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:29:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya but... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that's waaay too subtle for the MSM to cover.

        With Faux Noise and the Wall Street Urinal running cover for the Republicans, all the Republicans have to say is "OMG look at this bill Obama's party wanted us to vote on..." and the eight-second sound bite on the Nightly Evening News(tm) is over.

        And Middle American thinks it's the Democrat's idea.

        And really, if this is the best "strategy" the Democrats can come up with, we are well and truly screwed.

        - bp

  •  As Demi Moaned said upthread (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP votes against a Dem drafted bill gutting Social Security and Medicare, and that will "wedge" voters from voting GOP how exactly?

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Pass Medicare buy-in for all via reconciliation, since it is fiscally related (and sound) policy.

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:55:09 PM PST

    •  If they vote against it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      then it shows their constituents that they're all talk and no action, even when a Republican is the one who introduced the legislation.

      Save the Earth! It's the only one that has chocolate.

      by skohayes on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:32:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that would matter how exactly? (0+ / 0-)

        There was an amendment put forward in one of the committees during HCR mark-up (can't recall which committee it was) that was to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid and was explicitly but in by a Dem as a put up or shut up vote. It went down with no yea votes and that really altered the debate and the politcal landscape didn't it?

        Not being flippant to you personally, but to the larger iea that these stunts mean anything.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Pass Medicare buy-in for all via reconciliation, since it is fiscally related (and sound) policy.

        by Lestatdelc on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 05:05:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, fou

    The GOP has been getting a major pass.  Some sunlight is in order because their HCR position is very inconsistent and their obstruction is unprecedented.

    Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God.---POTUS

    by GN1927 on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 01:56:36 PM PST

  •  found their wedge, but what about their balls? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gdunn

    Until the Dems grow themselves a pair, the Repugs will continue to kick them around with impunity.

    Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:01:55 PM PST

  •  I'll believe it when the Dems do it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcdrjsm

    They are corporate owned wimps.  When they take action and do something for the people, I'll start believing.  Until then, another round of BS!

  •  When dealing with Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcdrjsm

    Just tell the truth and they think it's hell.

    It'a about time!

    "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by atlliberal on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:02:43 PM PST

  •  Democrats have to shift rhetoric... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chipoliwog, NoMoreLies, fou, skohayes, lcdrjsm

    from "Republicans have no ideas" to "Republicans have horrible ideas".

    You got time to lean, you got time to clean.

    by gooners on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:04:18 PM PST

  •  the one figure that rally jumped out at me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou

    was despite privatising Social Security and Medicare ans cutting down drasticallay on medicaid, his budget still wouldn't get rid of the deficit and balance the budget until 2050!!!!!! I personally shall be long dead by then, my son will by 85, my grandsons and daughter will be 50ish and whatever great great grandchildren I may have by them will be babies.

    Plus who even knows if the planet will still be inhabitable.  It is Utterly RIDICULOUS. The only republican budget plan that should be on the table is one that matches Obama's budget, otherwise you are comparing budgets with bananas.

    Let us hope the next summit Obama convenes is a bi-partisan budget one with both budgets ON THE TABLE and all the cameras turned on.  

    Mind you, I do think someone has to tackle the question of 'Entitlements' and help the electorate understand that in fact it is THEY who will put out on the ice-floes and into the Death Camps.  UNless of course, the Ryan budget excludes republicans and only applies to Democrats?

  •  The American people are not really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, gooderservice
    aware how bad the Republicans are and what they stand for. Their policies screws everyone except the richest 1% yet people vote for these cretins. The MSM do their best not to report on the issues that really affect people and where the political parties stand on these issues. Plus the Democrats are incapable of attacking the GOP.
  •  This is meanignless. The people too dumb 2 get it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou

    Way too inside baseball, will go right over their heads. And good luck getting that message out this fall with UNLIMITED CORPORATE MONEY slamming our guys and gals.

    •  Not necessarily. (0+ / 0-)

      If it becomes legislation to vote on, then those republicans who vote against it will have to endure their Democratic challenger saying something like:

      This republican who claimed he wanted to cut the deficit even voted against his own party's plan to do so.

      Or if they vote for it, here comes the ad that contains something no Congress person ever wants to see in an ad against them:

      He/she voted to drastically cut Medicare.

      Even if it's not nationally known, it certainly will be known in local Congressional districts via the ads from Democrats.

  •  I'll believe it when I see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou
  •  I'm not convinced that this will work. (0+ / 0-)

    The American people are ignorant monkeys who voted for the collapse of our own nest eggs.  We voted for war profiteers, and then we fought and died in two wars for profit.  Sure the obstruction against Obama is unprecedented, but it won't matter in the minds of American idiots.  America will say that the black guy's too dumb to fix things if they haven't been fixed in a year.  Then, they'll vote to paralyze the government and break things again.  Then, they'll blame the next guy on the chopping block when the shit hits the fan again.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Americans are fools.  If we weren't, we wouldn't be in this mess.

    Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

    by fou on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 03:16:12 PM PST

  •  Dems and Medicare (0+ / 0-)

    Just to make the point I've made many, many times, it is pure BULLSHIT that the $400B cuts in Medicare were to get at inefficiencies. All advantage plans are not the same. The amount over standard Medicare ranged from around a little less than 8% up to 14%. But what McJoan doesn't bother to explore, but just parrots the spin talking points are that most, if not all, Advantage plans filled ALL the gaps in standard Medicare making Medigap plans, which run on average $3500-4000 a yr. unnecessary as well as including Part D, another $500 a yr. or so!!!! Certainly there could be targeted adjustments to pay and services provided  by Advantage plans but it is what Medicare ought to strive for and ironically part of the House Bill included premiums for various services like case managing patients, and others that are part of Advantage Plans. Further in all the analysis I read on the bills I couldn't find any coherent rationale for drastically cutting back home care, particularly as it would have forced many many individuals into hospitals at far greater cost. So maybe McJoan ought to learn something about health care and in particular Medicare and the so called efficiency cuts. I would even at this point contend that what the Dems were doing were the Republicans job which they'd been trying to accomplish for over 40 years.

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