This Monday morning we got treated to another example of the crew over at Morning Joe telling their viewers that they had better get used to the idea of some "reforms" to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, this time with former Gov. George Pataki and Joe Scarborough leading the way with their claims that Americans will just love anyone currently running in the GOP primary race if they show some real "leadership" and embrace Paul Ryan's push to privatize Medicare.
The one voice of sanity on there was Howard Dean who reminded them that yes, Americans do want leadership, but not if that leadership is pushing for crazy ideas. It's too bad it's not considered a "crazy idea" that we allow insurance companies to profit off of the sick and that we aren't regulating them in the same manner utility companies in this country are regulated, or heaven forbid that we don't have Medicare for all where the government is the insurance provider for all of us, instead of just covering the sickest and the eldest among us as they do now.
I have to say I agree with Howard Dean here on the fact that it's insanity if anyone in the Republican Party thinks latching on to Ryan's budget plan is a good idea. But if they want to listen to the advise of Pataki and Scarborough here, I say go ahead and good luck. You're going to need it. I'd be more than happy to see Paul Ryan and his budget plan be turned into the poster boy for the Republican Party and made a major issue during the upcoming election.
BRZEZINSKI: How does Romney for example, overcome becoming the candidate by default, by choice? What does he need to say?
PATAKI: I think it's pretty easy to do. And I think it goes right back to the numbers Chuck was just showing us, that issues really matter this year. And I think that's why if Romney or any candidate laid out an alternative vision as to what they were going to do... Chuck said it earlier this morning. What are you going to do on Medicaid? What are you going to do on Medicare and Social Security? How are you going to deal with the deficit? What are you going to do to create jobs?
BRZEZINSKI: Well, those are hard answers Governor.
PATAKI: They're not that hard.
PATAKI: I don't believe they are.
SCARBOROUGH: They're not.
PATAKI: But I think if you laid out a specific plan, rather than becoming a target, you would become a goal to look at. And I think that's why Paul Ryan is so well liked in the Republican Party.
PATAKI: He laid out a plan.... sure he took some shots. But he is now enormously respected in the party and beyond the party. And I think a candidate who did that would have the ability to combine both the experience side with the issues side and become the nominee.
Scarborough followed up by going on a rant about how he did so well campaigning on Medicare potentially going broke back when he was running for Congress in 1996 and used his win to claim that the Republicans today should just go out there and tell the voters that they'd better get used to the idea that there's some austerity coming and they're going to have to accept cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, that's going to be a winning issue for Republicans today.
Howard Dean reminded him that if Republicans agree with him that running on Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare is a good idea, they're likely to be faced with a lot of ads by Democrats on that issue in the upcoming election cycle.
DEAN: I think in fairness, I side with Richard on this one. I think people have a tough time... Ryan may be universally loved in the Republican Party, but he is going to be a... you're going to see a lot of him in our ads. He wanted to privatize Medicare. That is an insane idea.
PATAKI: The American people are better than this. They understand we have a problem. They want leadership that's going to provide solutions.
DEAN: They want leadership. They don't want crazy solutions. And that's a crazy idea that Paul Ryan had.
Pataki was hinting that he might throw his hat in with the rest of them and potentially run in 2012 as well. If this was the platform he was planning on running on, I can see why he decided it might be better to sit this one out.