News Roundup for 3/13/11

Keep your government hands off my Medicare!
You gotta give them points for consistency

-Headline of the day-
"Poll: Plurality of Republicans say don't touch Medicare."

Paul Ryan's plan to save Medicare by destroying maybe brave and bold and visionary and not-stupid in the eyes of many pundits and talking heads, but in the eyes of voters, it's none of those things. Democrats don't like it, Independents aren't bug fans, and it turns out that even Republican voters aren't super excited about the whole idea.

Gallup finds that wile 34% of GOP voters think we have to either "completely overhaul" or make "major changes" to Medicare, 61% prefer either "minor changes" or leaving the thing alone altogether. For the record, the most pro-Ryan stance would be "completely overhaul," which accounts for just 14% of Republican respondents. Like I said, they aren't super excited about this.

See, it works like this: Republicans are all about the courage it takes to make tough choices -- so long as those tough choices are being made about someone else. When it comes to themselves, they just can't get enough of that gummint-run, commie single-payer healthcare. (Raw Story)

-In [closely] related news...-
Ryan's big Randian vision of a nation unburdened by seniors with money suffers a tiny setback as some Republican House members get skittish about voting for it. Turns out that they thought all the Tea Party "SAVE MEDICARE!" crap from last year was for real and the bait-and-switch isn't going over very well.

According to the report, "Whether they're new lawmakers in formerly Democratic seats or House veterans who represent districts with large elderly populations dependent on Medicare, a significant number of Republicans realize that embracing the Ryan plan may be one of the most treacherous votes of the year... So rather than taking a strong stand, they're hedging during the leadup to the roll call."

"Hedging during the leadup to the roll call" is fancy-talk for "getting all wishy-washy about which way they'll vote." Politico talked to quite few GOPer offices and got a chorus of "dunno" and "we're still looking it over." Caught between pressure from party leadership and the interests (and votes) of their own constituents, many House Republicans are finding the courage to stand tall and announce in a courageous and clear voice, "I'm undecided as of this time. No comment."

Really puts a lump in your throat, doesn't it? (Politico)

-Bonus HotD-
"Did Obama Put Biden to Sleep?"

Maybe -- for about a second. Still, let's remember this. I'm not sure what the veepee does all day, but apparently it really wears you out. (Political Wire, with video)

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