Campaign Guidelines for Slippery Two-Faced Fence-Sitting Republicans
Despite all the warning signs — public outrage at town hall meetings, the defeat of a favored Republican congressional candidate in a special election — Republicans are still determined to go forward with privatizing Medicare. Instead of “OK, our constituents have spoken; back to the drawing board,” it’s “oops, we didn’t spin it right. We need better soundbites.”
Republican politicians are looking for a way to campaign for Paul Ryan’s “destroy Medicare in order to save it” plan, but without actually having to come out and say it. Or, some of them might want to slyly distance themselves from the Paul Ryan plan while simultaneously praising Him.
And here is their guidebook.
First, do not EVER say anything negative about Paul Ryan. If you disagree with His plan for gutting Medicare, say so in the nicest possible way, while simultaneously praising Him as the living incarnation of Jesus, George Washington and Ronald Reagan.
Newt Gingrich learned this the hard way. When he disagreed with the Ryan plan, hardcore Republicans interpreted it as an attack on Ryan Himself. And now the GOP leadership has asked Gingrich for a divorce.
And this is why Tim Pawlenty is still in the race. He hasn’t backed the Ryan plan (yet) but he regularly swoons that Paul Ryan is “offering real leadership in Washington.” Mitt Romney, also not taking a stand (or taking 47 different positions), has praised Ryan for “setting the right tone.”
Second — The Conversation. Paul Ryan started the “adult conversation” buzzword, and all GOP candidates need to run with it. It’s OK if you don’t have the balls to come right out and say you want to pull the rug out from under millions of people. Just throw out a bunch of meaningless doubletalk, and periodically scrinch your face into that deadly serious expression while saying “we need to have this conversation.”
And remember — you can be totally vague and noncommittal, as long as you refer to your plan as being “still in the works,” “not identical to Paul Ryan’s plan but we share the same objectives,” “we’re on the same page when it comes to entitlements,” etc.
Anyway, that’s a small preview of the soundbites and longwinded nothing-speak we’ll all be getting bombarded with.