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Saturday, April 23, 2011

E.J. Dionne and Charles Krauthammer agree on something and they are wrong.

Krauthammer wants the Republicans to run in 2012 the way he thinks they ran in 2010. He predicts a roughly similar outcome. Dionne would like that too, he predicts the opposite outcome.

I note that Krauthammer is, in fact, proposing that they run the opposite of their 2010 campaign and I agree with Dionne that they will be hammered if they do.

According to Dionne's paraphrase Krauthammer "asserts that Republicans would do well to make the 2012 election as much like the 2010 election as possible and focus the campaign on 'the size and reach of government, spending and debt, and, most fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.'"

Dionne concludes

"yes, let’s rerun 2010. I am persuaded it will come out quite differently the next time around."

I comment

Yes let's rerun 2010. I'm quite convinced it will come out the same way -- the party that votes to cut the Medicare budget will be hammered. I think the winning 2010 slogan was "keep your government hands off my Medicare." that Republicans won partly because the economy was in terrible shape and partly because the Democrats had dared to cut the budget of a very popular single payer governement insurance program.

Your analysis is convincing as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough to be consistent with polling data. The Ryan proposals (when briefly described) are indeed rejected by the Democratic party base, but they are also overwhelmingly rejected by the Republican party base.

Quite figuratively, I wonder if there is something in the water in the Washington Post building. Inside that building it is agreed that entitlements must be masively cut. This view is supported by CBO forecasts and is shared by a very small minority of US adults. You have every right to believe what you believe (and I agree Medicare spending growth should be restrained -- as it was by the PPACA for example) but you shouldn't ignore the actual campaign and all polls when interepreting the 2010 election.

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