I don’t pretend that I am some great political genius, but I do know that there are some truisms in America politics. One big truism is that senior citizens vote as a much higher percentage than other subset of the population and the biggest way to ensure that they will come out to vote is to threaten the programs upon which they rely.
That’s what makes announcing the intent to cut spending to Medicare by $1.3 trillion such an odd, Bizarro-world choice on the part of the McCain/Palin campaign.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to confirm that those all-too-critical 27 Florida electoral votes don’t look like they’ll be heading into the McCain column:
You are so right when you say that this is a third rail – of Florida politics – certainly, and politics nationally among senior citizens is Medicare and Social Security and John McCain and Sarah Palin are shockingly wrong on both of those issues. I mean, it’s bad enough that he clearly and consistently has supported privatizing Social Security. Especially considering that this morning the stock market was down 797 points at one point and he thinks we should just be investing—the best thing to do is invest people’s Social Security funds in the stock market. [sarcastically] That’s a really good idea, right now.
But then, on top of that, he goes so far as to say in order to cover about five million more people out of the 47 million that don’t have health insurance, his plan is to cut Medicare $1.3 trillion. Now there is 3.2 million Floridians that are covered by Medicare; we have the second highest number of Medicare recipients in the country and a higher percentage even than California of our population. I can tell you, I represent a district in South Florida for sixteen years, between the Legislature and Congress and there is no way that my senior citizen constituents are going to be supporting John McCain. They are really concerned about two things: making sure they don’t have their safety net yanked out from under them and making sure that their health care, that they have fought for and earned in the golden years of their retirement.
For the record, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have both signed off on Health Care for America Now.