Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Any new ideas?

Why is it that the worst ideas just never seem to die? Michael Lind writes in salon.com about the two new ideas to come from the bright, new stars of the G.O.P.: attacking Iran and privatizing Social Security.

Sarah Palin suggests that if President Obama were to show stronger support for Israel and attack Iran that voters might perceive him as being "stronger." She says that he's not doing enough to make Americans feel safe and that he should pull out the "war card." I guess escalating the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban isn't enough. I guess that it's not enough that we're already occupying two Muslim nations in the Middle East. Let's make it a nice, round threesome! I'm sure that will resonate great with voters who are already tired of thousands of Americans dead in Iraq (for no good reason) and years of trying to tame Afghanistan (when no other nation in all of recorded history couldn't) and going into a trillion dollar deficit in the process. Is this what she would do if she were elected president in 2012!? "Gosh darnit, our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have done so much to make 'real Americans™' and our neighbors and friends in Israel and around the world, we need to continue the good work of the Bush Doctrine and declare war on every Muslim nation in the Middle East."

The other bright idea, privatizing Medicare has been around for so long that I actually laugh when I hear it. I was simply and utterly shocked when the GOP's ranking member on the House Budget Committee actually announced the contents of the party's "shadow bill." It privatizes Social Security, has vouchers for Medicare and completely does away with Medicaid.

"That's what Americans are demanding, Rep. Ryan. Millions of Americans are not content to have lost much or all of their 401K and other private retirement savings in the stock market in the last decade, with nothing but Social Security remaining to rescue them in their retirement years. No, Americans are angry because they weren't allowed to lose all of their Social Security money, as well, in the stock market." You'd think with all the populist backlash against Wall Street giving themselves big bonuses after driving the economy into a ditch the last thing you want to do is give them all the government's money for Americans' retirements. That's like arriving at the scene of an accident caused by a drunk driver and instead of arresting them you give them a bigger, more expensive car and a case of liquor and send them on their merry way.

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