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Last week President Obama focused the revealing truth of sunlight onto the reckless intentions of the Republican Party in respect to the future of this nation. The President explained their draconian efforts through the vision of US Congressman Paul D. Ryan (R-WI), especially as it relates to seniors and Medicare:

It's a vision that says America can't afford to keep the promise we've made to care for our seniors. It says that 10 years from now, if you're a 65-year-old who's eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher, and if that voucher isn't worth enough to buy the insurance that's available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you're on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.

Yesterday, while watching an episode of MSNBC’s Hardball, columnist Jonathan Alter said this:

If the (Democratic) party as a whole cannot wrap the Ryan plan around the necks of those Republicans who voted for it, they should find another line of work, because this is a big fat one over the middle of the plate for the Democratic Party.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

Messaging, messaging, and messaging! During the summer of 2009 the Republicans, aided by the clamor of the disingenuous Tea Party movement, managed to convince a sizable number of people in this country that the President’s Health Care Bill would effectively eradicate our beloved elders.

This was done by simply repeating the false charge ad nauseam.   If the Right can be committed to lying with such unbelievable zeal, then the Left should be committed to presenting the truth with the same tireless fervor, especially when the majority of people in this country, including even those identifying themselves as members of the Tea Party, are opposed to changes in Medicare:

A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Americans oppose cuts to Medicare or Medicaid by a margin of 80 to 18 percent, including 73 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Independents. In fact, just 28 percent of Tea Party supports or backed the plan, while75 percent opposed it.


http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/...

On Friday, April 15, the Republican Congress registered their vote for Congressman Ryan’s grand scheme to end Medicare. By a margin of 235 to 193, with only 4 Republicans voting against the plan, they signaled to the world their ruthless disregard for the poor and elderly. While overhauling the Medicaid health program, the proposal would also cut top corporate and personal income tax rates.

Still, I’m beginning to feel the stir of a strong wind of discontent (by even Republican voters). One of the prevailing images of the battle for Health Care was that of the town hall and its usual assembly of angry Republicans demonstrating their displeasure with a Democratic member of Congress by showering him or her with boos.

As was reported yesterday, Republican Congressman, Ryan, himself, was treated to a chorus of boos as he attempted to defend his plan for cutting taxes on the wealthy.

CONSTITUENT: The middle class is disappearing right now. During this time of prosperity, the top 1 percent was taking about 10 percent of the total annual income, but yet today we are fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire? And we’re fighting to not raise the Social Security cap from $87,000? I think we’re wrong.

RYAN: A couple things. I don’t disagree with the premise of what you’re saying. The question is what’s the best way to do this. Is it to redistribute… (Crosstalk)

CONSTITUENT: You have to lower spending. But it’s a matter of there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down.

RYAN: We do tax the top (Audience boos). Let’s remember, most of our jobs come from successful small businesses. Two-thirds of our jobs do. You got to remember, businesses pay taxes individually. So when you raise their tax rates to 44.8 percent, which is what the president is proposing, I would just fundamentally disagree. That is going to hurt job creation.

http://thinkprogress.org/...

Is this really happening? This incident was unbelievable, because it showed that even individuals who have always remained content to forfeit and vote against their own interest, in order to protect the status quo and extensive largess of the Republican Party’s corporate overlords, are perhaps  finally beginning to realize that all along they have meant nothing to Republicans except lowly sacrificial lambs.

Shortly after the Republican vote on the Ryan plan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, Steve Israel, vowed this:

When we win back the majority, people will look back at this vote as a defining one that secured the majority for Democrats.

I certainly hope so. Democrats have a wonderful opportunity to spur a genuine populist revolt against the Republican Party, but it will not be achieved unless they continue to press the message of the Republicans’ protection of the wealthy at the expense of seniors, the poor, and the middle class.

The President has continued to spread the message, but this simply cannot be all about his efforts, this is an all hands on deck proposition. Democrats need to be as relentless in controlling the message as the Republicans were during the Health Care battle. Once again, Jonathan Alter:

If the (Democratic) party as a whole cannot wrap the Ryan plan around the necks of those Republicans who voted for it, they should find another line of work, because this is a big fat one over the middle of the plate for the Democratic Party.

I could not agree more!

Originally posted to NedSparks on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Yes We Can Pragmatists.

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Comment Preferences

    •  This quote by Alter is spot on... (5+ / 0-)

      I was listening to him yesterday as well. I thought that was the best line this week, other than that person at the town hall meeting with Ryan. Me personally would have followed up with that line of questioning at the townhall with, "Then where are those jobs from giving the rich tax breaks?  Millions of people out of work and the only game hiring in town is Mc Donalds.  Lets try something else because apparently that doesnt work."Just once I would like to have a republican in my town and have me be at one of those meetings. I would make sure it would be on the news.  

      I wrote about this last night. I would wrap that albatross around the republican neck every day if I was on tv. My first sentence would start out with "WHERE ARE THE JOBS THAT TAX BREAKS ARE SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE?"

      Democrats are lousy at messaging. Lets hope they get their shit together with a gift with candy all over it.

      "You took a dump on the little guy..? Why? "Cause, I can." Karl Rovian bible.

      by tdslf1 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:32:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Totally agree Ned, I hope... (8+ / 0-)

    the Dems back home are hammering Ryan's plan as transferring wealth from the poor to the rich, which is unquestionably insane.  President Obama is hosting a townhall right now in Reno, here's the link... :-)

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

    "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

    by BarackStarObama on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:20:06 PM PDT

  •  I Don't Think They Want a Populist Shift. (6+ / 0-)

    They could've done this at any time possibly in the past 40 years, but certainly in the last 20-25, but they haven't.

    They're chasing the persuadable conservatives who are informed and are presently being spooked by the right, and they're re-energizing the youth vote through social networking.

    None of that needs much populism. They can run as the party has for years as the party of more sensibly addressing the frames and needs set up by the right.

    If there's to be a left-side populist movement, progressives are going to have to create it independently of the party.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:31:58 PM PDT

    •  I think when you see Ryan being booed, then you (3+ / 0-)

      know the message is getting through. We are bad at messaging, but this is a very hopeful sign.... The Dems need to tell the American people, loud and clearly, what that vote was about.....

      •  NO. The Dem Party needs to DO what the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn

        American people want, not just babble on about it.

        Yes, messaging is crucial and yes the Dems suck at it. But they had the Congress and the WH and screwed it up royally. That's because they don't DO what the public vote them in to do.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:02:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You seem to want to get stuck in complaining (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lucy2009

          against the Democrats, rather than expose the pernicious Ryan plan for the country. Regardless of how bad the Democrats might have been in terms of not fulfilling all your needs, the Tea Party wants to wreck the nation and not averse to forcing people to eating off the streets. I don't understand your perspective.

          •  It's complicated....... (0+ / 0-)

            Best I can say is I despise and distrust the GOP completely. I very strongly dislike and distrust alot of the the Dems and our President.

            With that said, I agree the Dems are better. I would like to see more of them, but what I would like to see even more than that is BETTER Dems. I think if we had BETTER Dems....you know, some good ole fashioned "purists", that we would get much better policy pushed through and poeples lives would be much better as a result.

            I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

            by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:10:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  P.S. I appreciate your loyalty, and belief (0+ / 0-)

            in the Dems. I sometimes even feel it a bit still. I used to feel it enormously prior to seeing who Obama put in his cabinet, and then HCR. So I get where you come from, and that's cool.

            I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

            by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:12:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. The Dem Party are NOT progressive. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn

      That's a joke! Or maybe they are progressive, whatever the hell that means. They certainly aren't liberal, and they certainly don't believe in their Party platform.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:01:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree, I think the Dems can be populist, even (0+ / 0-)

      if it's by the people in that town hall who booed Paul Ryan, because they have suddenly realized that the Repubs are exclusively for the Rich....

  •  If they give up on the Colombia FTA, sure. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dreamghost, TracieLynn

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:41:15 PM PDT

  •  When someone like Steve Israel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q, Lucy2009, TracieLynn

    says Democrats are going to fight on this, I'm really skeptical.  I don't believe Democratic elected officials want this fight at all.  It forces them to do just like their Republican colleagues — choose between the people's interests, and the interests of their corporate contributors.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:04:35 PM PDT

    •  I've seen him on the telly. He's a BIGTIME ASSHOLE (0+ / 0-)

      Don't trust anything coming out of his piehole or you will get porked. Count on it.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:03:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Progressives need to learn a lesson (6+ / 0-)

    from the Tea Party hysteria.  It wont' be the same without the Fox/Koch underwriting, but regular people need to make a lot of noise.  We cannot rely on the party officials to get the job done.

    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

    by ahumbleopinion on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:11:05 PM PDT

  •  Each one of us need to committ... (2+ / 0-)

    to protesting in the streets.

  •  I disagree with this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Here's why......  What the President says, what the DCCC says, what the Congress says has absolutely NOTHING to do with what they do, or legislate. Nothing!

    I love the premise of this diary, I love the idea of a Dem majority in this country, kicking the GOP's ass up one side and down the other, etc, etc.  But that will be achieved by DOING and ENACTING liberal legislation that the country wants OVERWHELMINGLY.

    Did we learn nothing in 2010??????  We had a Dem Congress and WH. They shit out a bunch of milquetoast, ineffectual legislation and got their butts beat for it.

    When they DO the right things, I'll get excited, not a moment b4. With that said, it's always nice to atleast hear them say the right things.

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:59:38 PM PDT

    •  You disagree with Dems telling America that the (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans voted to end Medicare? And pull away seniors, and many of the poor, who have always voted for Republicans against their own interest?

      •  No. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NedSparks

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:19:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  O.K., happy to hear that.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lucy2009
          •  In fact, despite my deep cynicism...... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NedSparks

            I would even go so far as to say that wouldn't it be wonderful if the Dems kicked the GOP butt so thoroughly that they "pull away seniors" and others to our side, and as a result we were able to not only elect more Dems, but (my pet peeve) BETTER Dems. Dems that actually stand-up for working Americans, and universal HC, and crazy lefty things like that.

            I'm a proud and loud "purist". If we had more "purists" in Congress, this country would be a much better place to live in for human beings of all sizes/shapes/colors/ages, as well as all other living things.

            I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

            by Lucy2009 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:04:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  One quibble, according to The Daily Kos Front (0+ / 0-)

    page poll (Daily Kos/SEIU), the tea baggers DO support privatization of Medicare. They, of course, are the only ones.

    **

    Besides rousing us to greater action, we should recognize the momentum as a potential opportunity to shift the dynamics within the Democratic Party--as Gooserock points out they won't likely embrace much of our agenda on their own. We should catch this wave and ride it.

    The Republicans have enforced a lot of conformity by urging (pretty much requiring) candidates to sign various pledges--such as "no new taxes" oaths--BEFORE primary seasons even begin. Are we doing anything similar?

    An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:09:37 PM PDT

    •  Granted there are lots of things the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Had Enough Right Wing BS

      ought to do. I will say though that they will not be able to do many things if the Repubs keep Congress in 2012.... We need to prevent the Repubs from doing that.

      •  We may be able to avoid a certain amount of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NedSparks

        "buyers' remorse" if our candidates have actually signed some type of pledge before people have worked to get them elected,

        I mostly disagree with those who attack Democrats for not having gone far enough, not because I'm content with their positions but because I think they usually go as far as political reality will allow. If I had my "druthers" the party platform would be much different.

        With that said, though, it seems like we need a sort of "pre-nuptial agreement" with some of our supposed allies.

        An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? Rene Descartes

        by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:35:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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