How’s That Going To Play In Peoria?

The Republicans did a great job last year, campaigning themselves into big wins without telling anybody exactly what it was they were going to do if elected. Actually, that’s not true. They did say they were going to repeal a bunch of stuff. But as far as actual strategies for governing, well, that’s something they weren’t going to divulge until… wait… have they divulged anything yet?

Yes, despite capitalizing on a mantra of “Where are the jobs?” and “Repeal and replace”, the new GOP house has taken a slightly different route since being sworn in. They read the constitution, except the parts they didn’t care for. They did repeal the  health care bill (at least symbolically) but have yet to get to the ‘replace’ part of the plan. Next up on the agenda: restricting gay marriage in DC, reinstatement of DADT, a balanced budget amendment, erasing parts of the 14th amendment, restricting abortion, school vouchers. If that list looks surprisingly short on plans for jobs, you’re not alone in noticing.

Of course, the other big theme of the season, up to and including Tuesday’s SOTU speech and Paul Ryan’s Republican response (and Michele Bachmann’s  zombie response) was spending. Specifically, everyone inside the beltway agrees that spending is bad. That means all of us little people are going to have to tighten our belts. And that’s where the Republicans’ governing strategy really gets good.

It was announced today that the proposed Republican budget, based on Mr. Ryan’s road map from last year, was finally revealed. One of the centerpieces? Privatizing Medicare in the form of vouchers. Now, recall, that’s why no Republican wanted to talk about Ryan’s budget road map in the first place; it was full of drastic cuts and privatization of programs that America was pretty happy with. But support for seniors’ benefits be damned! We’ve got to take our medicine! Remember, they’ve never seen us so ready for tough love.

I’ll buy that the Red State Base is thrilled about the record thus far. Sure, they may be worried about jobs, or not having one, but those amendments sound good. Taking citizenship away from brown people born in America? That’s gold! But to explicitly avoid dealing with jobs, even when you campaigned on asking where they were, is one thing. Pissing off seniors by focusing instead on privatizing Medicare and Social Security is something else entirely.

I wonder how much more the base will take before they realize they’ve been gullible suckers all along, manipulated by powerful corporate interests who could care less about them having jobs. The rest of us saw this coming a mile away.


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