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Thursday, October 20, 2016

In one of the most surprising examples of how committed Republicans truly are to attacking the Affordable Care Act, the right wing is lashing out at Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) for being insufficiently committed to killing Obamacare.

The anger stems from an op-ed by Ryan published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Ryan used the platform to pitch his plan to end the debt ceiling crisis: Republicans would raise it in exchange for a deal in which they agree to roll back some of the sequester cuts, and Democrats agree to cuts to earned-benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Ryan left the specifics of his plan rather vague, but given the House Budget Committee chairman’s history with “common-sense reforms of the country’s entitlement programs and tax code,” it’s a safe bet that he has another ideological “vision document” in mind. Combine that with Ryan’s long track record of killing bipartisan budget negotiations, and it’s not hard to imagine Democrats recoiling at the prospect of having yet another debate over a Ryan budget.

What is surprising, however, is the negative reaction that Ryan’s op-ed garnered on the right. As Tom Kludt points out at Talking Points Memo, right-wing groups such as the Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, and immediately lashed out at Ryan for failing to include the death of Obamacare in his demands in exchange for not intentionally crashing the global economy. Ryan made no mention of the law in his op-ed (perhaps because he knows that its repeal is not realistic, perhaps because he needs the law’s savings to balance his own budget).

And they weren’t alone. Amanda Carpenter, a spokeswoman for Senator Ted Cruz, tweeted “There is one big word missing from this op-ed. It’s start [sic] with an O and ends with BAMACARE.” Ben Shapiro, an editor-at-large at the right-wing, lamented that “Paul Ryan dropping Obamacare demands re: shutdown and debt ceiling is suicidal strategy. And sadly typical.” And the list of angry right-wingers goes on.

The backlash was enough to make Ryan reassure Republicans that he is, in fact, committed to taking health insurance away from the tens of millions of Americans who will obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

“Obamacare’s an entitlement just like any other entitlement. So that, as far as we’re concerned, is in this conversation. Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, those are the big drivers of our debt,” Ryan told radio host Bill Bennett on Wednesday. “If you look in the op-ed, I say we have to — ultimately we have to rethink all of our nation’s healthcare laws.”

But he didn’t go as far as to demand that the law’s repeal be linked to the debt ceiling. “I don’t know that within the next two weeks we have a viable strategy for actually repealing Obamacare, every piece of it,” he told Bennett.

The fact that far-right conservatives would turn on Paul Ryan — who was a hero of the movement as recently as this spring — illustrates just how committed they are to the impossible dream of convincing Democrats to kill the law as a condition for reopening the government and paying its bills. It also underscores just how futile negotiations with the House would be for President Obama and the Democrats; if another Ryan plan wouldn’t be sufficiently conservative for the right, then there’s really nothing that the president could offer that would satisfy his opponents.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • 4sanity4all

    And so begins the feeding frenzy! Let them feast on one another’s bones, and then when they are done destroying each other, the Democrats can restore our government to sanity.

  • Mortalc01l

    The USA has officially lost it’s mind; well, those on the right and specifically the hard-line Tea Party. How does crashing the World’s economy HELP anyone? How does using extortion bode for the future of US politics?

    If this example of hostage taking and extortion wins out, you can kiss goodbye to the USA as anything other than a Banana Republic. If it works this one time, it will become the tool of choice for those that can’t win elections .. who NEEDS a Democratic process, the Supreme Court or any kind of vote, when you can demand and extort to get what you want?

    These people need to be kicked out of the Republican party as soon as can be arranged. They are so dense, so under-educated and so dogmatic that common sense and logic have LONG since left their heads. Get rid of them and let some adults fix the damage.

    • JNagarya

      They’ve never had logic in their heads to begin with. They have always been thumb-sucking anti-intellectuals to an absolute extreme. They hate America. They are the domestic enemy that invokes the Constitution they’ve never read, and in fact despise.

      • JDavidS

        The American version of the suicide bomber…”We don’t care who or what we hurt, as long as we advance our cause.”

        • RNPRN

          The American Taliban.

        • nirodha

          What the TP seems to fail to realize is that a kamikaze attack kills the pilot.

  • sigrid28

    I wonder myself if Ryan’s op-ed is apiece with the Koch brothers effort to exonerate themselves with any responsibility for the government shutdown, which they supported widely through many avenues behind the scenes. Ryan is their creature. This pairing in the news today suggests to me a hopeful sign. At least the architects of the doomed government shutdown strategy recognize that there is a problem with it.

    • Sand_Cat

      They have “good names”?

    • Daniel Jones

      Given that the Koch denial is under close scrutiny as the Memo’s next story, I don’t think it a coincidence at all…

      • sigrid28

        I know, I know, I know. I’m not talking about the National Memo alone but the entire group of U.S. newspapers hitting yesterday’s 24/7 news cycle. Believe me, I know I am not the only one to see this coincidence as worthy of observation. What I meant to add with my post is the idea, referenced in the PM by Rachel Maddow, that the people behind this doomed idea are trying to disavow publicly that they had anything to do with it, which is good news if they have the power to bring it to an end and bad news if they have lost control of the Tea Party caucus and it has gone rogue.

        • RNPRN

          They are just trying to hault the damage to their image this has done and will affect 2014. With a favorable rating of 28%, 2014 should be a landslide for the dems.

          • sigrid28

            Agreed–with one caveat. Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans have to get to the polls, which they sometimes have not done in mid-term elections like 2014.

        • latebloomingrandma

          The plutocrats and old farts who sit in right wing think tanks have created this Frankenstein monster known as the tea party. Now they have to live with the consequences of it going off on its own. Most Americans live around the center of the Bell curve–slightly to the right or left. The tea party and their funders are so off to the right they are ready to fall off the edge. If only we could give them a final push into oblivion, and get this country squared away again. I think all of us sane people on this memo site know that we actually have an very reasonable President, who would love to have an intelligent, worthy opponent and start getting some work done!

          • nana4gj

            We must assign some of the current state of affairs on all those Republicans in office who keep quiet and have enabled this madness with their silence. In the old days, just some of the public utterances that have insulted and slandered ordinary people of all population groups might have been met with some kind of censure or at least suspension for a few days from even setting foot in the Halls of Congress by their peers.

            The entire bunch deserve censure. Have you ever seen such a flock of geese, boldly making a lot of honking noise, bullying everyone around because of perceived threat and then actually having to face the threat or the reality that the public has figured them out, figured out that they are dumb and good for nothing that is good.

    • HelenRainier

      One thing I noted with interest about the Koch disavowal is that it was on Koch Industries letterhead and only said that Koch Industries takes no stand nor has any involvement. The Koch brothers on the other hand is a different story.

      • sigrid28

        Koch brothers are always hiding. They count on their manipulation of others to allow them to conceal their actions. Money lets them manipulate in this way, so this technique is tied up, in my opinion, with their sense of entitlement–extending to the conviction that they DESERVE their wealth. In their logic, it follows, therefore, that the poor deserve their situation–although these 2%ers, like Mitt Romney, are quite content to blame the poor for their living conditions, as if their own wealth were not an accident of their birth. Behind the scenes, they even work to compound the misery of the poor–which is their dirty little secret. This sadistic streak seems operative among the super wealthy who hide behind Super Pacs and other Citizens United groups, or claim like Mitt Romney did that corporations are people. True philanthropists, like Bill Gates or Bono, own their good works and discuss their goals in public.

        • old_blu

          I don’t know why the democrats just don’t negotiate directly with the Koch brothers instead of having to go through John Boehner and the tea partiers.

    • nana4gj

      It’s not a coincidence, but carefully and quickly orchestrated. The night of President’s first Inauguration, they drafted their strategy to make him a one term President, to insure that he and his Administration failed.

      The second term Plan actually was put into a printed manual and distributed enough in advance that everyone had their marching orders: make the President’s government fail. The manual was printed and distributed by Koch Bros Enterprise.

      And like dumb a–es, everyone of them went along, followed their orders, and all we have heard for almost a year is Repeal, Defund ACA. Do whatever it takes to do it, just do it.

  • docb

    It is okay..he walked it back yesterday!

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    Why do Republicans and Tea Party (who claim to be Good Christians) hate people who are less fortunate than them? Why do they hate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Do they believe that after a certain age you should be sent to die, unless you are wealthy, because without Social Security many seniors would. Do they believe we should not waste capital on people who are sick, because in their mind they are no longer or can never be productive to their wealth? All they keep caring about are the wealthy and corporations and look upon everyone else with disdain.

    • LotusJoan

      They have found that providing an “other” for people to hate and blame is good for them. They really have no care factor about the poor except that those who are desperate make better workers.

  • charleo1

    At least we seemed to have left the La La Land, where President Obama wanted
    the shutdown. And Paul Ryan would never cut Social Security, and Medicare.
    (His Mother’s on it, remember.) And the term debt ceiling debacle is beginning to
    ring tiny bells in the heads of us continually distracted Americans. Oh, hey, wasn’t
    that the thing they did a couple of years ago, and my 401 lost $15 Grand
    overnight? Whatever it was they were fiddling with, they need to leave it alone! Idiots! The polls say, more Americans don’t like ObamaCare, when it’s called ObamaCare. More of an affirmation of what we already knew. Ad campaigns, plus enough big money, can sell soap, or persuade large numbers of us to quit bathing altogether, either way. They also say, when the benefits of the health reform law
    are explained, most agree, they like it. And, they are not in favor of shutting down the government, in an effort to repeal it. Even when it’s called ObamaCare.
    The most unpopular part, the requirement to buy health insurance, or pay a
    penalty, is becoming less of an obstacle. As more people are learning they have health insurance at work, and it won’t effect them. Americans remain concerned about it’s cost to both themselves, and the government. But, they also knew long before this law, their wages at some point, were not going to be able to keep pace with sky rocketing insurance premiums. But, a train wreck? Could you be more specific? Yes! ObamaCare is the worst thing to ever happen to America! Really? Worse than slavery, and a Civil War? Worse than, 911, or the Columbine school shootings? Well, it’s a failure! Please! Us Americans can decide for ourselves,
    if it’s a failure or not. So, reopen our government. Stop behaving in such a reckless way, that could needlessly cause all of us to pay higher mortgage and credit card rates, and cause another recession. And leave my 401 alone! Idiots.

    • stcroixcarp

      His mummy is also a wealthy widow. Unlike most seniors, she doesn’t need social security.

      • RNPRN

        Ryan got SS survivor benefits when his father died at 51. Now he wants to gut SS. Guess he doesn’t care, he got his. He has his insurance, doesn’t care if no one else has it. He is a two faced liar.

      • 4sanity4all

        I agree. Just because his mom collects it, that wouldn’t stop an ideologue like Lyin’ Ryan from gutting it.

        • nirodha

          Maybe, despite all his protestations to the contrary, he just doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his mother. After all, she’s outlived her usefulness to him.

  • Dominick Vila

    It will not be long before Sn. Cruz, Rep Ryan and a few others start back pedaling. I suspect they all know by now that they over reached, and realize that enjoying the support of only 25% of our population guarantees defeat in future elections.

    • LotusJoan

      Do you think Cruz has future political aspirations? I assumed that he wanted to be CEO of the Heritage Fund. I really do think he is looking for that million dollar pay off from the Koch brothers which would be a massively overpaid position at what they call a “think tank” or “in- action pac” or 501C.

      • Dominick Vila

        Sen. Cruz has made it clear, he is running for President. Fortunately for us, his latest stunt limits his presidential potential to President of the local Waste Management company.
        I wonder what happened to the “birthers”…

  • J, Dial

    I am a Democrat and almost ready to file for Social Security. Yet I am ready for Dems, and Republicans to adopt Ryan’s proposal today, and end this mess. The details that some don’t like, as has been said all along, can be worked out later. I’m not naive enough to think Dems will absolutely hole the White House another term. History shows the reverse is a firm possibility. But the right-wing of Republican Party are acting as if the world ends with the Affordable Care Act. They’re practicing kamikaze politics if I’ve ever seen it.

    • omgamike

      A possibility, yes. But I don’t think of it as a firm one. Currently, the list of probable contenders for the republication nomination for president have exactly a zero chance of winning in the general election. They are way, way too far to the right. Americans do not elect a radical, either from the left or the right.

      As far as the ACA is concerned, they should just drop their opposition to it. Period. It is a done deal, signed, sealed and upheld by the Supreme’s.

      • J, Dial

        Your lips to God’s ear!

      • nana4gj

        It’s pure pathology to continue to obsess over the ACA. It is symptomatic.

  • TGH

    Why does this shock and surprise anyone. It’s the “American way”; win at all costs and to Hell with everyone else. We teach it to our kids in sports at an early age. We count gold medals in the Olympics and make the winners millionaires while we forget all the other participants. Sportsmanship in both sports and politics went out the window generations ago. What’s the hottest sport right now? Ultimate fighting where you pound your opponent into unconsciousness once you have him on the ground helpless. Sports and politics are so much alike right now.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Well, there goes his chance of replacing Boehner as Speaker. Now I guess that means we are going to be stuck with Cantor until January 3, 2015.

    • nana4gj

      Cantor is an eel. He has forgotten what he may have been taught as a child about “mitzvas” and honor. That whining, sing song, flip flop voice of his is a turn off no matter what he is saying, but, then, what he says pure script.


    Paul Ryan needs to look for another job.

    • mah101

      I’d like to have the votes to send about 80 of them looking for a new job.

    • nana4gj

      Wonder if that position of “driver” for the weiner truck in his hometown is open. The only job he had before he went to Congress with an adolescent infatuation with Ayn Rand.

  • nana4gj

    How dense and stupid is the Right Wing anyway? When Ryan spoke to “entitlements” and mentioned all of them but “Obamacare”, who did not know he included ACA in that batch of “entitlements” and who did not know he did not specifically mention it because it has polled so negatively for GOP with their use of it as a hammer in order to shut down the government and default on the credit rating? Or was it the other way around, using the government shutdown and the credit rating default in order to destroy ACA?

    How obtuse and dumb do you have to be in order to be a “Rightwinger”?

    Of course, when he had to defend himself, he made it perfectly clear in no uncertain terms that in order to push his Ryan Budget that addresses slashing and burning of Medicare and Social Security “entitlements”, probably Medicaid, too, he means “Obamacare”, too. After all, he says, “Obamacare is just another entitlement”.

    But, please, do not even think of addressing increasing revenue, even to the level of the 1990s, that disturbed the comfort level of that wealthy percentage of people not one iota.

    • 4sanity4all

      The use of the word ‘entitlements’ bothered me, too. I am signing up for an ACA policy, but I will not get a rebate. I will pay the price, but the good news is that I will actually get healthcare, unlike paying for the scam insurance I have now, where they pay for nothing, due to all of their pre-existing condition, high deductible, double talk. The benefit to me will be that I will pay for insurance that actually gives me care, and I will not have to pay twice; once for the bogus policy, and again whenever I see a doctor.

      • nana4gj

        Congratulations! I am relieved, grateful, and happy for you. May you use that good health insurance to keep you healthy and afford you some deserved peace of mind. In the event you may have to use it in sickness, you will be able to get the care you need and deserve.

        In sickness and in health, may the ACA be with you !

  • Pamby50

    We are going to default because they actually believe that the President will cave before the deadline. Every day more and more of the government is shutting down. They can’t keep going to the well to vote to fund another part of the government. They need to vote on a clean CR but they won’t. Every time someone tries to stick their head out, they get it smacked down. It’s like watching wack-a-mo. Go away tea party.

  • jointerjohn

    This punctuates how narrow and rigid the GOP has become. Any political operative from recent history, if honest about it, will tell you that success in American politics is predicated upon having a wide enough philosophy to appeal to voters across a range of opinions and positions. Hitting the new republican base is now like standing on the edge of a razor blade. Paul Ryan is among their highest name-recognized figures, yet they attack him for getting only a teensy-bit off script? This should be a sign to the moderate wing of that party that trying to appease these radicals in order to save their jobs is futile. Instead, true moderates like Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois are hiding under their desks and whimpering right now. I want to see sane and sensible republicans stop acting like cowards, come out publicly and call these bullies for what they are. Where are you former Senator Richard Luger? They knocked you out of office but you could go down in history by leading the charge to get your party back. Bob Dole where are you? Colin Powell, are you still out there? They can’t knock you off in a primary……. HHMmm, cowards it seems.

    • 4sanity4all

      Yes, I have to say, I am proud of how my Illinois Senators and Representatives have been voting. They have been laying low, and not joining the fray. Both Democrat and Republican votes have been for common sense in general, and I am so glad I am not from a looney led state. I am referring to the ones from my area of the state, I have not been following the voting record of the downstaters, and they very well may be siding with the loons for all I know.

      • jointerjohn

        My portion of the state was reapportioned into the Congressional District of Congressman John Shimkus (R). He is terrible, sides with the loonies, but without the backbone to be outright and vocal about it. Next door is Congressman Rodney Davis (R), who votes with the loonies but then tries to back peddle in his interviews because he is a freshman in a swing district. It is so sad to see the portions of Illinois that produced Senators Dick Durbin and Paul Simon go red, but it is happening. Three factors at work here doing that; racism, radical Christianity, and the NRA.

        • 4sanity4all

          I feel your pain, and I agree with you about the cause. Politicians that want to win there appeal to the voters with rants about one issue, like “they are coming to take your guns!” and other similar nonsense, which is not even true, but gets fearful people to the voting booth. It is really sad that people don’t see right through that baloney.

    • nana4gj

      Bob Dole has tried. He has made several public admonitions to the GOP. So has Sen Luger. Dole is not in good health. And Colin Powell, has said a few things in interviews that smart, but his former colleagues always attribute his opinions to being “black”.

      • jointerjohn

        Thanks for filling me in. I noticed how the GOP loved to parade Colin Powell around until he came out for President Obama, then they dropped him like a hot rock. I guess in the Republican Party once a negro has been brought up to the plantation house he dare not get caught associating with the field hands any more.

  • Mary Ann Hoogeveen

    I love it when teapuplicans attack each other this is better then the movies

  • nana4gj

    By the time Ryan penned his op ed, the polls were rolling in and they were not favorable to GOP for using “Obamacare” repeal, for the 43rd time??? as the tool for which to shutdown government and crash the credit rating of the country. So, he left out the individual mention of it and just said, “Entitlements”.

    After, when he had to explain himself to Conservative critics, he replied, “Obamacare is an entitlement”.

    Today, we know that the only reason the GOP in Congress is even considering any kind of compromise, or have quit coming before the mic and camera to justify this stunt that they never should have done in the first place, is because they are in their own “deficit” in public opinion, otherwise, they were “happier than we have been in a long time”, as Michelle Bachman told us, with this huge achievement of theirs.

    Then, again, in response to the polls, after celebrating in glee in front of cameras and mics over what THEY had done, claiming smug responsibility for it, they turn around and tell us it was someone else’s doing.

    They have been acting like this for 5 years and, if you take a really good look at them, you might see that whatever they say about someone else’s motivation, deeds, etc., it is really what and who they are and do.