Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The attacks on Medicare failed
Last night, Kathy Hochul did something that few of us would have thought possible a month ago: She won a special election for a congressional seat in New York that hadn't gone for a Democrat in more than a decade. She won because the Republican candidate, Jane Corwin, embraced the GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it -- and Kathy never let anyone forget it.
And unfortunately for the GOP, this issue is quickly becoming a litmus test for them nationally.
Even Newt Gingrich -- not exactly a progressive -- recognizes that a Medicare phase-out is a dangerous proposition. But when he rightly criticized the plan as "right-wing social engineering," conservative pundits and activists pummeled him so hard he was forced to "apologize" for his "mistake."
Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner with this issue, and Democrats can win more victories by making it clear that the GOP wants to make dramatic cuts to a program that keeps millions of Americans healthy -- ending Medicare as we know it.
We want to put more Republicans in the same position as Corwin and Gingrich, and we need to come out of the gate strong.
Can you chip in $3 or more to help us build on our momentum and fund our program to defend Medicare?
There's nothing hypothetical about the Republican plan to end Medicare. When the proposal came up in Congress, all but six House Republicans voted for it. The GOP has already registered its approval.
With this issue, Republicans have no good choices. More than 80 percent of voters don't approve of their Medicare phase-out -- so they must either continue supporting the plan they already voted for, or flip-flop and anger their base.
And because the public understands that this proposal from the GOP would end a program that seniors rely on every day, our job is to get Republican candidates on the record.
If the trouble this caused Gingrich is any indication, the rest of these presidential candidates are in for some rough days on the campaign trail -- if we can get them to tell the public where they stand.
In the weeks and months ahead, that's exactly what we plan to do. Working online and off, we'll make sure that every Republican running for President, and that every one of their candidates for the House or Senate, gets asked exactly where he or she stands on the GOP plan to phase out Medicare.
We have to keep turning up the pressure -- just like Kathy Hochul did in New York.
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