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October 01, 2012


Hondo Howard

Well said. Romney and Ryan's hesitance to discuss their ideas, to talk substance, has really slowed their campaign to a crawl. Not sure how a debate gives a candidate the time or space to do that either. We've got the time, Paul. Explain the math.


Chris, you may be missing the point. Serious people know there is no conspiracy regarding polling. Heck, Romney's private, internal polling is yielding the same results as the public polls are. I think all this nonsense about "skewed" polls is designed for the post election narrative.

If the loss can be blamed on such nonsense then one can completely avoid serious discussion of the possibility that the message is the problem. That the majority of the American people aren't buying it. And for the hard core ideologues that can't be done. If the American people want solutions to problems but reject the solutions called for by hard right ideology then the problem has to be the American people. It CAN'T be the ideology. Therefore the candidate (who IS awful) or the campaign (which IS abysmal) or the polling methodology (all of them? really? in a giant conspiracy?) must be to blame because the ideology can't be wrong.

It is eerie how many of the folks on the hard right of the GOP bear an uncanny resemblance to our old adversaries in the Soviet Union (which someone HAS to tell Mitt's foreign policy team dissolved two decades ago). Any inconvenient facts that don't conform to ideological orthodoxy are either ignored or twisted into unrecognizable pretzels by these folks. It must be a hoot watching some of them put a jigsaw puzzle together. I imagine they use scissors to make the pieces fit.

Voters aren't stupid. If you tell them that the demographics of the next couple of decades (all those retired and soon to be retired baby boomers) are going to strain Medicare to the breaking point they get that. From there you can discuss means testing or various ways to save costs or whatever solutions you want and voters will accept some and reject others. And the program can continue on. After enough of us old farts die off the numbers will get easier in due course. This isn't a permanent problem.

On the other hand, if you tell people you are going to end Medicare as a defined benefit program and just give them a voucher to buy insurance in the private market they are going to balk at that(because they are not stupid). Even if you accompany the explanation with Paul Ryan's goofy smile (forgive the ad hominem but it is goofy).

People understand that Ryan isn't proposing to cut Medicare costs at all. He is simply proposing to shift the cost from government to sick old people. Which doesn't solve the problem at all. What's amazing is that Ryan proposes stuff like this and still his budgets don't achieve balance until the 2030s using the kindest assumptions.

People understand snake oil. They get that a voucher that is not guaranteed to keep up with costs means they will have to pay more and more out of pocket. And they get that being at the mercy of private insurers when you are elderly is a losing proposition. This is precisely the high risk population that insurers avoid like the plague. So, even if old people could get private insurance under Ryan's plan to "save" Medicare they would find it prohibitively expensive.

But alas, to a disciple of Ayn Rand (whose crackpot notions should be seen through by anyone over the age of 14) these old folks are simply moochers. To an ideologue like Ryan his plan actually makes sense because he just ignores the facts that don't fit his curious ideology.

Forgive the lengthy digression into Medicare, but it is merely one example of the silly stuff these guys are peddling and it should surprise no one that people aren't buying it. The point is the ideologues need excuses for the rejection of their crackpot notions by the voters. Because it can't be that their ideas are faulty. Ideologues NEVER allow for the possibility that they could be wrong and that other people can discern that they are.

The right wing propagandasphere will be abuzz with all the excuses after the election. It will be everything but the message.

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