I have a column up at Patch looking at the impossible position that Charlie Dent and the rest of the Southeastern PA suburban Republican species have gone and backed themselves into with their vote to end Medicare:
On the politics, Mr. Dent ran to the left of John Callahan on Medicare in 2010, blasting the Democrats’ Medicare cuts:
In addition to new taxes and other costs to employers and families, the bill cuts a half-trillion dollars out of Medicare to pay for the new entitlement.
But the Congressman voted for that same half trillion in cuts, which Paul Ryan kept in the Republican budget. Seniors thought they were sending Mr. Dent back to Washington to protect Medicare, but he turned around and voted to privatize the program in order to fund a large new regressive tax cut. It was a classic bait and switch.
So it seems much more likely that Mr. Dent will be spending quite a bit more time playing defense on health care. This seems to be well-understood by Dent’s political staff, who did not include the word “Medicare” anywhere on the press release announcing the vote.
Since this column ran last week, the suburban Republicans are only looking more endangered. For one thing, the polling on RyanCare continues to look terrible.
The suburban Republicans also can’t count on a strategy of working the refs to block Democratic ads claiming (accurately!) that they voted to end Medicare. Republicans attempted to bully a New Hampshire TV station into pulling such an ad off the air, but their contention that the add was false was rejected.
It’s be fascinating to see the convoluted focus-grouped talking points they ultimately settle on.