Free Markets, Free People

Beware of broad conclusions about NY 26 by pundits

Because they’re all over the place.   Many of them are trying to nationalize this very local special election by claiming it is a referendum on the GOP’s Medicare plan because a Democrat won.  But it you look closely at the race, it was more of a Republican debacle than much to do with Medicare.   As has been the case in many elections, competing Republicans managed to get in each other’s way (the Dem won 47% while the GOP candidate garnered 43% and the Tea Party candidate 9% – thus guaranteeing the Dem win with a plurality).

As for the Medicare portion of this, yes it was demagogued by Democrats.  But as a reason for the win?  Tentative at best.  But it does point to a messaging problem for the GOP.  I thought I understood Ryan’s plan (and, despite the usual inflammatory Democratic rhetoric, it doesn’t end Medicare at all) but to satisfy myself, I went out looking for his explanation.  I found this:



How awful, no?  Patient centered (bureaucracy removed), means tested, and competition.  In fact, as he says, the program would be “just like the one Congress has”.

Well, wait, wasn’t that a promise of ObamaCare?  Wasn’t that something we were supposed to want?  Wasn’t cutting costs supposed to be the “big promise” in ObamaCare?

So here’s the plan to deliver that (oh, by the way, nothing changes for those 55 and older, so they’re grandfathered in) and the Democrats are savaging it as only Democrats can (dead grannies and the live one’s eating cat food).

If NY 26 turned on Medicare – and I don’t really believe it did – I think the GOP needs to get this video out there prominently.  When I went to YouTube to find something I noticed this vid had been watched by 111 others.   Not exactly viral. 

You tell me – which plan makes more sense?  I know which I think fulfills the promises of making health care more affordable and competitive.


Twitter: @McQandO


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11 Responses to Beware of broad conclusions about NY 26 by pundits

  • Here’s what I humbly believe is the key takeaway from this race:

    The Dems are going all in demonizing the Ryan plan  (he literally pushed granny off a cliff in that ad.  Jeebus, everyone involved with that should be made to suffer) so the GOP better figure out how to sell it.

  • This works for everything, doesn’t it?
    “Beware of broad conclusions about _____ from pundits.”
    What NY26 will tell us is what the rest of the GOP field will do.  My guess is that “But as a reason for the win?  Tentative at best.” will not be what they take away from it.  Expect the GOP to distance themselves.
    Dude, this isn’t new.  Many of the GOP distanced themselves from Bush’s plan, and they’ll do the same now.  The only hope for the GOP is if the public dislikes the Dem’s plan even more – which is to do nothing.  Which sounds pretty good to most.
    If you don’t want to believe the election, or the polls, then I don’t know what you would believe.  People like their Medicare – they would rather see taxes raised than Medicare messed with.
    You know this.  We’ve seen this movie.  It is the romantic-comedy formula between the pols and the voters:  there is some tension at first, conflict, resolution, and in the end, someone gets f*cked.
    What we need is an action-thriller.

    • “Which sounds pretty good to most.”
      No, it doesn’t, most people like the idea of not increasing the debt, and they like that idea three to one.

    • What we need is an action-thriller.

      That can be intepreted rather broadly 😉

  • Well, those who voted Democratic hoping to “save” Medicare are in for a rude surprise.  They can vote to not “mess with” Medicare all they want, but that doesn’t change the economic realities. 

    • Pogue is correct in one regard – there is a large segment who just won’t understand until reality comes crashing down on them.  And even then, it will be big oil’s fault or something akin, but at least they’ll get the suffering they rightly have coming

  • I am a long time reader but haven’t posted comments that often. I feel compelled to point out that even if the NY 26 congressional win doesnt indicate broad resentment to Medicare Reform as per the Ryan plan, it does like Bruce mentioned, show how easy it is for the Tea Party candidate to guarantee a win for the democratic candidate simply by stealing votes from the Republican. While I am a Tea Party supporter I do think this spells trouble for the most important upcoming election of all–that of the presidency in 2012. Already we have a fractionated field of Tea party candidates and your “Old school” Rhino/”Moderate” Romney taking the lions share. I think this really points to the fact that policies like the Ryan plan are “Good Economics” but “Bad Politics.” When Bill Clinton is feigning support for the Ryan Plan, you know something is up. The democrats are taking advantage of Ryan’s economically sound but politically naive campaign and using it against the Republicans. We cannot guarantee another term for Obama!

    • Well said. Note too that when the Ryan budget came up for a vote in the Senate – a vote the Democrats there were pushing for – not a single Democrat voted for it. In fact not a single Democrat voted for any of the 4 budget proposals on the floor to include that of Pres. Obama.

    • Since polls show that up to three quarters of Republican voters do not feel they are well represented by Republican politicians, perhaps it is the Republican candidates that are ruining things for the third party candidates.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was not willing to change Medicare despite the fact that the program has an estimated $24.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities