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Dean Heller
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
If you're brazen enough, and lie often enough with a straight enough face, you can get away with just about anything. If you're a Republican, anyway. It worked for them in 2010, when they lied about the "billions cut from Medicare" by the Affordable Care Act. They thought that lie will continue to work for them, as they kept up the drumbeat earlier this year that it's really the Democrats who cut Medicare.

Now they're doubling down on rewriting that history, trying to pretend that almost every congressional Republican did not vote to end Medicare when they voted for the budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan. Oh, and Democrats are meanies for talking about it.

Republicans are accusing Democrats of using "scare tactics" to convince Americans the GOP wants an end to Medicare and Social Security.

In the party's weekly radio address, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada says both parties should come together to fix those programs, overhaul the nation's tax code and pass pro-growth policies to right the economy.

"Let's stop the lies about who wants to end Medicare or eliminate Social Security and fix both programs now," Heller says. "If some in Washington would stop campaigning long enough to do their jobs, we could fix both and ensure their existence for generations to come."

One could see how Heller, in particular, would want to rewrite that history. He has the distinction of being the only member of Congress who voted for it twice, both in the House and Senate. When he took both those votes, he said he was "proud" to have done so. Now he just wants all his constituents to forget it, apparently.

No matter how they try to spin it, they voted to kill Medicare and they're still running from that vote. In addition to proving that he's a craven hypocrite, Heller just proved that Medicare remains an extremely potent issue for Democrats. A potent issue, that is, as long as Democrats fight to keep it, without benefits cuts.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We're getting to them. Now hurt them some more. (16+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:24:33 AM PDT

  •  Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes? (20+ / 0-)

    They still haven't figured out that recording devices have been invented. I guess it's just another part of that 19th-century mindset.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:29:20 AM PDT

  •  The problem is that Foxbots, Dittoheads (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAladybug, eXtina, shoeless, Fury, OpherGopher

    and Baggers will believe them.  And they know it.

    "Both Sides Do It" will always work as long as the Dems can't get the messaging wars under control.

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:34:07 AM PDT

    •  Aned as long as the Dems don't do something (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper, shoeless, Fury, msmacgyver

      which can be plausibly spun into equivalance, like a change in the age of eligibility.

      -5.12, -5.23

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:23:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but what did they hope to accomplish by voting (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shoeless, Fury, OpherGopher, msmacgyver

      for it. Did they think people wouldn't notice their Medicare was gone? Or was it some symbolic vote? if so for whose benefit?

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:08:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What did they hope to accomplish? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fury, msmacgyver

        The Ryan Plan was very vague. Despite all the supposed details in the press, it included only a policy statement on Medicare that said that Medicare was to be "reformed" into a program of "premium support" so that seniors would have a "choice" of insurance plans. Extremely vague and benign sounding.
          Had it become law, the Congress and the executive branch would had to flesh out the details, by which time the initial vote would be long forgotten and future officeholders would get the blame. Or, if the future officeholders were to be Rs, then they would point out that it happened under Obama.

      •  The Republicans are lucky (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina, OpherGopher, msmacgyver

        that Ryan's bill was killed by Democrats in the Senate. Most people don't know that Republicans tried to eliminate Medicare. However, if they had succeeded everyone would take notice.

        A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by shoeless on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:21:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is the (7+ / 0-)

    same GOP that attacked Democrats for wanting to cut medicare in 2010, as is shown here.

    The irony is that having attacked HCR for cutting Medicare, and simultaneously arguing that HCR won't save money, the increases in Medicare spending have slowed dramatically.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 06:40:38 AM PDT

  •  This is how my Rep. spun it in the (7+ / 0-)

    Durango Herald,

    We must keep the promise to our senior citizens by protecting Medicare and Social Security.

    Currently, Medicare is on an unsustainable path. If Washington fails to act, the Medicare trustees - made up primarily of members of President Obama's Cabinet - report that Medicare will be bankrupt by 2024.

    I support a plan that ensures today's seniors and those a decade away from retiring receive all of their benefits in full, while strengthening and securing Medicare for future generations.

    I have held town hall meetings focusing on Medicare and Social Security, visited dozens of senior centers, and formed a committee of local seniors to gather thoughtful feedback and comments about Medicare.

    The message of seniors in the 3rd District is clear: any health-care or budget solution should strengthen Medicare and secure it for future generations. I ensured that this was incorporated into the Republican budget, which we passed in the House earlier this year. The Republican budget keeps Medicare as it is for those 55 and older, while strengthening and sustaining the program for our children and grandchildren.

    While the House has passed a plan, the Senate has failed to fulfill the promise to seniors for more than 850 days, refusing to pass a budget and put forward a plan to protect Medicare and Social Security.

    The Republican budget strengthens Medicare and increases affordability by targeting waste, fraud and abuse, which, according to Medicare's chief actuary, costs as much as $150 billion each year. Our plan roots out the causes of waste, fraud and abuse, and fixes the problem.

    Our plan expands access to care, giving future retirees the choice to select from competing health-care plans that best meet their needs - the same options as members of Congress.

    When the president passed his health-care plan last year, he said it would expand access and affordability to care. However, his plan missed this mark entirely.

    The president's plan raided $500 billion from Medicare to fund his health-care mandate at the expense of seniors. Not only did the president's plan fail to increase affordability, it restricts access to health care by empowering a board of 15 arbitrarily appointed bureaucrats to unilaterally decide when and how to cut Medicare funding.

    Under the law, the president's appointees to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) are guaranteed a six-figure salary and terms longer than the president and members of Congress. This setup ensures that those in charge of running what is essentially the president's "Medicare IRS" never personally feel the pain of cuts they make.

    There is no oversight from the courts, no appeals process, and no accountability for the 15 people in control of life-and-death decisions for hundreds of millions of Americans. They have the unilateral authority to decide what cuts should be made to Medicare, even to the extent of revising laws passed by Congress, without congressional approval.

    I'm concerned that IPAB will restrict patients' access to their doctors, and even make decisions that will limit access to important treatments and care. To add insult to injury, there is no requirement that the members of IPAB have medical backgrounds - placing decisions currently made between patients and their doctors in the hands of people with no health-care experience.

    Is this the future of American health care? Seniors in my district don't think so, and neither do I.

    As we work to ensure that the promise to seniors is kept and that the future of Medicare is strong and secure, I will continue to fight to:

    Protect seniors and those a decade from retirement, ensuring that they receive their promised benefits in full.

    Increase accountability, and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

    Provide choice for beneficiaries so that they have the same choices as members of Congress.

    Eliminate IPAB and keep critical health care decisions between patients and doctors.

    We have an opportunity to work together in Washington to strengthen Medicare. I encourage the Senate to take up the Republican budget, deliver on the promise to seniors and secure Medicare for future generations.

    Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, which includes Durango. Reach him at 218 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, by phone at (202) 225-4761 or at

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:00:29 AM PDT

  •  LTEs (7+ / 0-)

    I've been involved in a letter to the editor battle with the Republicans in our local generally right wing newspapers. Even when I directly quoted the law, they claimed that it was a distortion to say that it would "abolish" Medicare. They point to the use of "will be reformed" in the law to assert that this conversion to private insurance would just be a reform.
       My advice: Letters to the editor pointing out the truth. Let them defend their actions. Believe me, they've already got the denial memes beaten into the followers.

  •  Republicans Are Just Going to Have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAladybug, Fury

    to be as proud to be hanging by that rope as they were to vote for it and put it in around their necks.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

  •  And where are the dems beating them over their (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, We Won, OpherGopher

    collective heads over this ? They're letting these punks get away with lies. Just like with 'death panels'.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists. PL poutrage lasts a week, max.
    Call the media when they Lie

    by amk for obama on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:56:05 AM PDT

  •  What wil Dems EVER do to call these lying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Fury, seabos84

    hypocritical sacks of shit out on their lying? Why won't Dems CALL THEM LIARS? These emm-effers lie about their lying!! But the Dems apparently still wanna keep their powder dry.

    My elected officials--half are fucking liars, the other half are fucking spineless.

    "Repeatedly he [Voltaire] dwelt on the folly and credulousness of the masses and the selfishness and unscrupulousness of the ruling few." 'nuff said.

    by caseynm on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:09:27 AM PDT

  •  The Democrats opened themselves up to this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarolinNJ, seabos84

    Well, president Obama did.

    It was clear as day that the issue of who stands behind the New Deal would be muddied as soon as the debt deal was cut.

    I think Democrats lost their campaign on that day.

    This is no surprise at all.

    If I were a Republican, I would cite all the Democrats who were quoted as saying the President unilaterally disarmed on this issue.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:11:29 AM PDT

    •  My thought, also: how are Dems going to make (0+ / 0-)

      anything of this after Obama put SS and Medicare on the table for the debt ceiling deal?  "Reforming entitlements" belongs to the Dems now, and there's not a one of them, save maybe Sanders, who will forthrightly call out that betrayal.  Disgusting and shameful.

      "It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up." David Bromwich

      by CarolinNJ on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:27:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brazen, even by Republican standards nt (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:13:00 AM PDT

  •  Republicans: The Casey Anthonys of politics. (0+ / 0-)

    Lie until you get caught, then lie some more.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:17:47 AM PDT

  •  The multi-billion dollar cut to Medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, fladem

    is a half truth.  Half-truths, IMHO, are worse than complete falsehoods, because the latter may be the result of error.  A half truth is a deliberate effort to perpetrate a deception.

    Anyway, what was cut was the public/private partnership known as Medicare Advantage which gave seniors the impression that they were part of a private insurance program (My Medicare) without admitting that the federal government had to spend more to subsidize this program and provide a profit for the do-nothing insurance middle man.

    That middle layer of parasites is being gradually eliminated.  Another layer of parasites was eliminated by moving the servicing of student loans from local lending institutions (which had been funneling students to private, for profit, "educational" institutions belonging to their friends) to the department of education.  By taking the servicing of loans in-house, our government will be able to save money and make sure that what is spent actually goes to teachers and legitimate programs, rather than into the pockets of fly-by-night schools that sprang up like mushrooms.

    One could say that when public dollars are available, scammers are drawn like flies to dead fish.  However, as the banking and mortgage scandals have revealed, the scammers are everywhere, encouraged by the philosophy that anything goes, until you get caught and your buddies in government aren't going to catch you, as long as you vote right, come the next election.

    Republicans always have ulterior motives -- power and profit.  The reason nothing gets accomplished is because power and profit aim to deprive and impoverish whomever and whenever they can.

    by hannah on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:17:56 AM PDT

  •  Not sure how the Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    keep losing on messaging.  This should be a no-brainer and Democrats should be pounding Republicans on this 24/7.  One can only hope.

  •  their lying works consistently. i see it in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, OpherGopher

    letters to the editors every day in Indianapolis.

    The dems spend.  the Rs do not.  the dems want to help people who DO NOT DESERVE to be helped.  The Rs want to help just the good guys.  blah blah blah.

    people are too stupid for words.  they let their hate and fear guide them to ruin.

    •  And the writer, of course, is one of the good guys (0+ / 0-)

      Right?  I believe the correct term is envy: the feeling that someone has taken something away from you that is rightfully yours.  Envy is murderous.

      "It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up." David Bromwich

      by CarolinNJ on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:31:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Let's Fix Both Programs Now" Here Is The (0+ / 0-)

    difference in what the two parties mean by "fix." When the RepubliCONS say they want to "fix" a government program, that means they want to weaken it and get rid of it.  When Democrats say they want to "fix" a government program, that means they want to make it stronger and save the program. Democrats should be out there (on TV, radio, during speeches, during press conferences, etc.) highlighting this difference on what "fixing" Medicare and Social Security means to both parties. It's simple, straightforward, and the public will get it.

  •  yeah, real potent... (0+ / 0-)

    with the Obama plan putting medicare cuts in the super-committee's autochopper.

  •  well, you see, they're no longer (0+ / 0-)


    once "pay-per-visit" went through, it's illegal for them to have PUBLIC as part of their name... in any form.

    fucking morans. worse than derangerous.

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by greenbird on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:31:45 AM PDT

  •  Consider donating to a Democratic Super PAC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some of them have already started going after Republicans hard on Medicare and Social Security.

  •  " right the economy." (0+ / 0-)

    I think the economy is right enough already.  Let's try to left the economy and make it work better for the bottom 90%, for a change.

  •  It Worked & It Works With SELL OUTS as "leaders" (0+ / 0-)

    in the "opposition" who spend their time ass kissing right wing talking points, OR

    opposition "leaders" who are politically incompetent at everything but making 400 page tomes of truth explaining why they're fucking losers - but vote for me!

    It worked in '80, '84, '88 ... WTF.

    kind of tricky, isn't it?


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:35:55 AM PDT

  •  After the vote (0+ / 0-)

    the Bechtel corp called my house and asked me to thank my wingnut Congressman for voting to SAVE Medicare.

  •  check out these ads on Republicans from Super PAC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Portraits -Priorities USA Action
    Ad about Republicans vote to replace Medicare with a voucher

    AUFC TV ad: Paul Ryan voted to end Medicare,

  •  Dear Rep Heller, (0+ / 0-)

    Keep yer cotton pickin' government hands off my Medicare and Social Security!

  •  The problem (0+ / 0-)

    We already know this. The people who need to hear it would never come here to find out, and wouldn't believe it if they were told. (I realize I could post that exact thing on almost every single DK post. Doesn't make it any less aggravating or pathetic.)

  •  I Love Priorities USA Action Ad Above! (0+ / 0-)

    This ad should be run 24/7 in every state across the country. The right wing noise machine never stops, neither can Progressives.

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