Jonathan Chait smokes out the dumdums on the right and exposes their Medicare plans.
Ten years ago, John Diullio wrote a letter recounting his experiences in the Bush White House. It was horrifying. Unlike the Clinton administration, which “drowned in policy intellectuals and teemed with knowledgeable people interested in making government work,” he found the Bush administration dominated by “Mayberry Machiavellis — staff, senior and junior, who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible.”
Diullio’s letter comes to mind when trying to assess the Romney campaign’s attempt to win the debate over Medicare. It’s obviously unfair to compare a message campaign devised in the heat of an election with efforts to craft actual policy. Yet it’s difficult to tell the difference between a deliberate messaging strategy of trying to muddy the waters and actually not knowing yourself what the hell you are talking about. ...Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel
They don't know what the hell they're talking about. Karl Rove, trying to explain, makes a complete hash of the attempt, in Chait's telling.
We're back dealing with people you wouldn't mind having a beer with but they're people you'd keep away from your family, your wallet, your car keys -- and most of all your city, state and federal government. Sometimes it's hard to decide which is more to blame: their intelligence or their moral compass.
Chait thinks it's intelligence.
I’d attribute this all to a grand, venal scheme, but I suspect doing so would overestimate the level of cognition at work here. You probably had a bunch of Republicans in a room throwing out any and all talking points to defend their plan, some of which make sense on their own terms, some of which make no sense, and which add up to utter gibberish.
I’d also point out that, in his letter, Diullio actually singled out Rove as one of the better-informed, and even “wonky,” denizens of the Bush White House. This is pretty frightening. ...Jonathan Chait, Daily Intel
Romney and Ryan understand Medicare funding even less than you do, probably a lot less if you're actually on Medicare. One grannie pulled away from her volunteer job at a homeless shelter could tell Washington more about Medicare and Medicaid than the entire Republican party ever actually learned about it.