Monday, May 16, 2011

No One Ever Said He Was Dumb

As sleepy as I still was, reading the headline that "Newt Gingrich Slams Ryan's Plan To Overhaul Medicare" caused me to raise an eyebrow.


Well, yes. And it's a pretty canny move by the silver-headed conservative running for the GOP nomination.

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich scoffed in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." ...

Gingrich later called the reform plan “too big a jump,” adding: “I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”

Those are probably weak excuses offered in place of the real reason: too many Americans have expressed outrage at the privatization of an important social program that is popular. The cost to elders is just too high. For the GOP to stand behind Ryan's proposal could result in the GOP losing not only the presidency but also the House. And that means the cost to the party is just too high.

Lest the party faithful think he's lost his mind, however, Gingrich did throw them a rather meaty bone. He's in favor of the plan to change Medicaid by giving states block grants and letting them figure out how to spend it without any federal control or guidelines. Smart man, him. Elders turn out to vote, but poor people don't.

It's going to be an interesting campaign season after all.



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