I have to hand it to the GOP - its control of its members is awe-inspiring. Just an hour ago, 42 Senators voted for the Ryan Budget, which ends Medicare. Oh, and Rand Paul, the newly minted Senator from Kentucky voted against the budget because it wasn't draconian enough. So, 43 of the 47 U.S. Senators from the Republican Party are on record supporting the repeal of Medicare.
That's insane. Just yesterday, Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, became a new Congresswoman in a Republican District based on the Medicare issue. Oh, and the margin wasn't even close. Poll after poll shows the American people really, really, really concerned about Medicare. From what I could tell from the protesters outside my office building (where Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have their offices as well), many of the Tea Party protesters had signs that said "Hands Off My Medicare." Now the GOP wants to end Medicare?
And that's the difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party - Democrats would jump ship in such conditions, whereas Republicans would not. Why the hell would Republicans jump into the frying pan? I think it has to do with the Republican base, who have become more and more powerful over the years.
The more I look back at the Bush Administration, the more I have come to realize that Bush completely defanged the Republican Party establishment. All the Party grown-ups have either left the building, or lost all credibility because of TARP, etc. There's no one left to say, "Guys, this is a phenomenally dumb idea, and we'll get killed for it." Gingrich tried, but in usual Gingrich fashion, did it too late, and too publicly.
Well, enjoy the flavor-aid* fellas, I hope it goes done easily.
*The Jonestown folks drank Flavor-Aid, not Kool-Aid.