November 23, 2016

Josh Marshall argues that Medicare is ground zero for where we launch the battle over everything -- the whole social safety net.

But the politics of Medicare are also highly relevant to this political moment.

It's not an either/or. The policy and politics are entirely harnessed together. And preserving Medicare will yield political benefits which will allow Democrats to defeat other Trump/GOP initiatives that will do the country grievous harm.

Trump's election has sprung into overdrive a debate we've been having in the world of politics for more than a year: Is Trumpism largely about economic distress tied to globalization and neo-liberal economics or is it mainly driven by a white racial backlash against minorities Trump supporters believe are cutting to the front of the line in the race for economic preferment and cultural centrality? I largely put myself in the second camp. But as I think most people realize, these are not mutually exclusive explanations. And whichever side of the equation you come down on, what the Democrats need are issues that cut across the regional/racial/class divide we saw in the 2016 election.

Medicare does that.

Yep, and it's hugely popular just as it is right now. The deficit scolds would have us all believing it's on the verge of bankruptcy, but it's not.

Tom Hilton writes:

Fortunately, there are signs that the Democrats are planning to step up.

I would just add that the time to start this campaign is immediately. Sometime "in the next couple of weeks" Trump is going to do his victory tour. So let's say we buy a whole bunch of ad time in the areas he plans to visit. It's a simple pitch. Medicare. You earned it. You paid into it all your life. And now Paul Ryan wants to take it away from you. Tell your congressman to keep Paul Ryan's hands off our Medicare. Keep Trump's name out of it (for now, though that calculation changes later in the campaign) and put it all on Ryan, whom Trump's people already hate.

And if it works, in state after state Trump rolls into a shitstorm of riled-up seniors calling for Ryan's head.

I'm working on getting some idea of where the organized opposition is on this. Once I know, you'll know. But get ready, because we're going to fight the good fight for it. And win.

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