This might be my favorite part of the whole mess Rep. Paul Ryan has gotten his party into over their plan to end Medicare: it's not really a bad plan that everybody hates, it's just misunderstood. Really, it's all just a messaging problem, not the wholesale rejection of conservative ideology.
A day after a crushing defeat in a New York special election, House GOP lawmakers defended their vote to reform Medicare but grumbled that their leaders must do a better job of messaging.
"If we'll just stay with our argument and do a better job developing it, we'll be fine," said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), one of many Republicans blaming GOP candidate Jane Corwin’s loss on the presence of a Tea Party candidate who siphoned away votes in a three-way race....
"I think we need to be stronger in marketing who we are and our message, and not just Medicare but in every aspect—with the jobs situation, with the economy, with national security. That's what we need to do," freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla, [torturer]) said....
One source familiar with the internal discussions over the Ryan budget plan described members as frustrated that their leadership failed to prepare them for the outrage they have heard from constituents in their districts over the Medicare changes.
"Members know that you don't piss off senior citizens, and they know that this was handled badly, that there was no messaging, that Ryan's not making his case and they are all looking down the road thinking, 'Oh my God, it's coming,'" the source said.
Yep, all a matter of messaging. That's the only problem with the plan. Just tell seniors you're "saving" Medicare and all will be well. So you stick with it, Republicans. In fact, double down on it, just like Ryan did yesterday.Tell seniors that they should be paying for their own healthcare, and near retirees that they should lose all that money they've paid into the system for their whole working lives for the "greater good" of the private insurance companies. That's what "saving Medicare" really means, and it's a winning message, so just keep at it!
All the way to November, 2012.