Monday, August 20, 2012
What are they thinking?
It was a pretty exciting weekend for political junkies because the gloves came off and what you see is pretty much what you are going to get. The weekend talk shows didn't cover U.S. Representative Todd Akins’s ill-advised remark but instead focused on Joe Biden's stupid remark. Joe Biden will be the Democratic candidate for vice president, but as we speak, Senator Cornyn is looking for a legal way to replace Todd Akin, even though he had a slight lead over Senator Clair McCaskill for that important Missouri Senate race. The Republicans have already lost the woman's vote, but this might change the mind of some Republican women in this red state. This is the same Republican Congress that wanted to change the definition of rape earlier this year. It's not about one remark; it’s the cumulative of Neanderthal comments and actions coming from Republicans. It reminds me of Clayton Williams’s remark when he was running against Ann Richards, for governor of Texas, when he said, " If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."
"Akin, a six-term congressman running against incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, was asked in an interview broadcast Sunday on St. Louis's television station KTVI if he would support abortions for women who have been raped.
"It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said of a rape victim's chances of becoming pregnant.
Akin said in an emailed statement later Sunday that he "misspoke" during the interview, though the statement did not specify on which points or comments.
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," Akin's statement said."
This week with George Stephanopoulos had a very interesting panel of partisans who laid out the Medicare arguments for both sides. Kimberley Strassel, Senator Pat Toomey, and Grover Norquist represented the right and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Austan Goolsbee, and former inspector general of TARP represented the left. The right thinks a free market solution is best to save Medicare. They think that the voucher system will create a climate of competition, which will lead to lower prices. That's classic supply side but insurance companies will take the younger healthier customers, and the older folks will be will be sent to government Medicare leaving us with the same expensive system but now the burden will be an on recipient's not the government. On the other hand, the Democrats will gradually reduce pay to the providers while bringing in new patients to hopefully make up the difference. The elephant in the room is the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. The fundamental solution is to bend the cost curve because the" average, per-capita cost of providing healthcare services in the United States rose by 7.32% for the past 12 months ending in August, a rate of inflation wildly above the 1.1% overall inflation for the same period, according to new study by Standard & Poor's."
Meet the Press had an exciting panel which produced a rising new star in the Democratic Party, Mayor Kasim Reed. The Sunday talk shows are usually about each side trading talking points and with little interruption in between. Ted Cruz started out with praising Paul Ryan saying that he would bring conservative principles to the discussion. Peggy Noonan followed up with more praise for Paul Ryan until the mayor couldn't stand it anymore. Mayor Reed lit into Ted Cruz pointing out that Paul Ryan voted for all of Bush's tax cuts, two wars off the budget, Medicare Part D, which increased the deficit, causing Mr. Cruz to say he didn't agree with all the Paul Ryan's votes. That's just the point, if left unchallenged; people would have gone away thinking that Paul Ryan was a real deficit hawk as the media has portrayed him.
The Democrats of 2012 are now going on offense, a tactic I haven't seen since 1992. They can challenge the GOP when they rightfully go after Joe Biden stupid remark when he said, " “put y’all back in chains” by not defending that remark but reminding them that they are not one to lecture. I think the voter ID laws that will suppress the minority vote will do more harm than Biden's remark. It's going to be important to stay on offense because the “Swift Boaters" and Karl Rowe have just begun the play.