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Blog of Mass Destruction

With Enemies Like These...Who Needs Friends?

By The Reverend Published: July 12, 2011

A few short months ago, the new Tea Party controlled House of Representatives voted on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, a plan called "Road to Recovery"....the same plan I immediately labeled as a "Road to Ruin." Ryan's plan cut taxes on America's wealthy, and paid for those tax cuts by turning Medicare into a voucherized, privatized program in 10 years...paying for those tax cuts for the rich with the "savings" from abolishing Medicare as we know it.

Ryan and the all-but-five Republicans (zero Democrats) who voted to pass the "Road to Ruin" budget in the House immediately faced the backlash from the 3 out of 4 Americans who simply hated Ryan's plan. New polls were quickly taken and the verdict came in....Americans, by almost an 80-20 margin, didn't want cuts to Medicare as part of some deficit-reduction deal.

Democrats, as expected, quickly ramped up 2012 election ads and strategies to bash House Republicans over their vote to abolish Medicare as we know it. Dozens of Republican House members faced the dissatisfaction of their constituencies during heated townhall meetings.....and a clear path for Democrats to retake the House next fall had made itself plain. Democrats would use every opportunity between now and next November to remind voters of the Republicans vote to abolish the very popular Medicare program.

Republicans, their apologists in tow, tried desperately to reframe their blunder. "We're not abolishing Medicare...we're saving it"....GOP'ers deceitfully argued. Many corrupt corporate journalist-types defended the GOP "adults" for being "courageous" enough to offer plans to abolish Medicare....further lying by insisting that Medicare is "bankrupt" or would be shortly. (If nothing is done, Medicare would still be able to pay 85% of it's obligations.)

The distortions and the lies and the deceit just didn't take with Americans....so the stage was fully set for Republicans in both the House and the Senate (40 GOP Senators voted for Ryan's plan) to have their electoral asses handed to them come next November....and especially so in all important swing states and districts.

So desperate was the political situation Republicans created for themselves over their vote to abolish Medicare that Droopy Dawg himself, minority Senate GOP Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went on the Sunday morning "news" shows....vibrating jowls and all....to place Medicare cuts in the debt ceiling ransom note....

“To get my vote, for me, it’s going to take short term [cuts, via spending caps]… Both medium and long-term, entitlements.,” McConnell said. “Medicare will be part of the solution.”

To clarify, I asked “[I]f [the Biden group] comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but without substantially addressing Medicare, it won’t get your vote?”

“Correct,” McConnell said.

Having successfully extorted tax cuts for his top 2% base last December during the previous serious GOP hostage-taking event....Mitch saw a way to negate Democratic attack ads over abolishing Medicare by placing the gun of the debt ceiling to America's head and threatening to pull the trigger if Democrats didn't agree to plunder Medicare too.

If Democrats agreed to slash Medicare, McConnell and the Republicans calculated, voter anger over Republican votes to abolish Medicare as we know it in the Ryan budget....would then be spread to both parties' candidates. It was a classic case of "yes we did...but so did they" political posturing.

The stage was set. Republicans had to get Democrats to vote to slash Medicare in the debt ceiling hostage-taking negotiations. If Democrats refused...then Republicans would vote no on raising the debt ceiling...our Treasury would default on it's creditors....and Americans could wallow in the dust of a new Great Depression.

Then, yesterday, along comes Bipartisan Barack...with his new kind of politics.

President Barack Obama has offered to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 as part of a larger deficit-reduction package....

It is unclear what was discussed between the two sides at a meeting at the White House Monday, but two sources outside the White House confirmed to FOX News that Obama, during an earlier meeting with lawmakers Sunday night, offered to raise the eligibility age. There was also discussion of moving to a system that ties the Medicare qualification age to actuarial tables rather than a determination by Congress.

I suppose Obama felt sorry for the predicament the Republicans had purposely got themselves into by voting to end Medicare as we know it.....in the same way that Obama felt sorry for Republicans and their difficult dealings with their demanding top 2% constituency last December. Then, President Obama offered the olive branch of estate tax cuts to Republicans...Republicans who weren't even demanding estate tax cuts....I suppose in order to prove that he was a new kind of genuinely bipartisan president.

Yesterday, in the most limp-dinghus kind of way, Obama apparently offered up another sympathy gift to the Republican anarchists. Obama, fully cognizant of how Republicans had set the stage for Democrats to benefit from the GOP vote to abolish Medicare, quickly and inexplicably took that Democratic advantage off the table yesterday by offering to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67.

Just like that....and singlehandedly....Bipartisan Barack stepped in to assist Republicans in next fall's election by agreeing with Republicans, against the American peoples wishes, that Medicare had to be a part of the deficit reduction package.

Bipartisan Barack...the best friend a corrupt, deceitful, Medicare abolishing, pimping for the rich, bunch of Republicans could ever find.

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