|Remember, the Tea Partiers aren't too bright|
Now, we don't get rid of it in round one because we don't think that that's politically smart, and we don't think that's the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine because we think people are voluntarily going to leave it -- voluntarily. (NYT)Destroying Medicare would be political suicide for the Republican Party.
So, the new GOP line is to lie.
And the new GOP line on Medicare is in effect: Destroy Medicare, while pretending to save Medicare.
Writes Eugene Robinson:
[I]t was Democrats who conceived of Medicare, passed it into law and kept it viable all these years. It was Republicans who denounced the program as 'socialized medicine' — and who now want to replace Medicare’s guarantee with a system of vouchers.I doubt it too.
Republicans may tell themselves that the GOP is the party of Medicare. But I doubt seniors will be convinced.
The 2012 Democratic Party convention will feature the credible message of protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from the GOP-Tea Party.
And the GOP-Tea Party tries to convince America they just want to save these popular social insurance programs by their new-found love for them. Newt Gingrich says so, Mitt Romney says so and so does Paul Ryan, the whole bunch of GOP-Tea Partiers:
"The first step is to move the two programs away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model."
As Paul Krugman notes: "That means that instead of Medicare as we know it, which pays your medical bills, you’d get a lump sum which you can apply to private insurance — they’ll yell when we call it a voucher, but that’s what it is."
Let's hope the GOP keeps talking.