Let’s pick up where we left on Friday. Judgment Day is coming for the Senate Republicans this week, and man, they are squirming. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend and once again could not muster up the courage to fully embrace Paul Ryan’s disastrous budget plan. McConnell was so scared of supporting the Ryan plan to gut Medicare that he could not even say whether he supported all of the provisions of this budget plan.
Meanwhile Senator Scott Brown has completed his flippity flop – known in the press world as “a walk back” – by now coming out against the Ryan plan. Uh, whatever you say Senator. As the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee noted, “Barn Coat” Brown is a “little light on straight talk” (via email):
“Scott Brown has lost his barn coat sheen. He talks like a D.C. politician who is trying to have it both ways and hide his own extreme positions,” said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Brown’s op-ed today was certainly a tantalizing read, but there is still so much that Brown is refusing to tell his constituents about where he stands when it comes to Medicare and protecting seniors.”
So the Republicans are clearly scared. Their anxiety is only going to intensify if they manage to choke away what should have been an easy win an upcoming special election tomorrow in New York’s 26th District. Any loss there for the Republican candidate would be nothing short of an epic disaster and could become foreshadowing of how House Republicans will remain haunted by their vote to end Medicare as we know it.
“It might be a political time bomb — that’s what GOP pollsters warned as House Republicans prepared for the April 15 vote on Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget, with its plan to dramatically remake Medicare.
No matter how favorably pollsters with the Tarrance Group or other firms spun the bill in their pitch — casting it as the only path to saving the beloved health entitlement for seniors — the Ryan budget’s approval rating barely budged above the high-30s or its disapproval below 50 percent, according to a Republican operative familiar with the presentation.
The poll numbers on the plan were so toxic — nearly as bad as those of President Barack Obama’s health reform bill at the nadir of its unpopularity — that staffers with the National Republican Congressional Committee warned leadership, “You might not want to go there” in a series of tense pre-vote meetings.
Ouch. No wonder Senator McConnell went to Fox to desperately try out lines like this:
"Let's just stipulate that nobody is trying to throw Grandma off the cliff," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday."
It’s not that easy, Senator McConnell. If you and your colleagues in the Republican conference do not want to throw Grandma off the cliff, then you will need to come out and vote against the Ryan budget plan.
We know, it’s a lose-lose proposition for the Republican Senators who are now part of a party dominated by extreme, nutty ideologues. That is their problem though. They either have to take a stand against the Ryan plan or show their support for it. They cannot have it both ways, just like “Barn Coat” Brown.