Republicans have been deluding themselves, ever since the debacle in NY-26, that all Republicans really have to do is sell their proposals better, and voters will get on board with the Paul Ryan Path to the Poorhouse budget plan -- you know, the one that ends Medicare as we know it, among other things.
In an interview with WISN-TV, Ryan himself explained why polls consistently voters strongly disapprove of his plan:
RYAN: Those polls don’t describe it very well. When the plan is described accurately, it actually polls very well.
Well, Greg Sargent runs through the list and finds that the polls describe his plan perfectly well:
In reality, the polls that accurately describe Ryan’s plan almost all show woefully low support for it. What’s more, Republicans have in effect already acknowledged that they lost the larger argument over Medicare by beginning to attack Dems from the left on the issue. They are now accusing Democrats of being the ones who really want to cut Medicare, and have even accused Dems of wanting to “shred the social safety net.” And even Mitch McConnell has distanced himself from Ryan’s plan.
How does Ryan intend to improve those poll numbers? The WISN interview makes it plain that his strategy is simple: Slag the Democrats on Medicare.
RYAN: Whenever you lead and propose a solution to a complex problem, you're putting yourself out there to be distorted, to be demagogued to be lied about. What's happening is the other party's chosen to try to scare senior citizens to try and get votes. Here's the deal on our Medicare plan: ObamaCare ends Medicare as we know it.
Got that? The whole story on Ryan's plan is that it's actually "Obamacare" that's the problem. Of course, this has been Ryan's fresh new lie for a week now. And as Brian Beutler observes, it's profoundly mendacious:
Ryan's plan actually sustains those $500 billion in cuts, while repealing just about all other parts of the health care law. Far beyond that, though, his plan would close the door on traditional Medicare in 10 years, and phase it out by putting new retirees in a private, subsidized health insurance market. As usual, though, privatizing a major entitlement polls really poorly, and Republicans are facing huge voter backlash in their districts after voting to endorse Ryan's plan.
The most amusing part of all this is watching Republicans flop back and forth on scaremongering seniors. After NY-26, they denounced Democrats for waging "Mediscare" tactics. There was no small irony in this, considering that this was the party that invented the "death panels" lie and ran videos of Democrats killing poor grannies.