“We're not going to be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as, ‘Well, you know, that's -- the other party's being irresponsible. The other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens. That the other party is doing X, Y, Z.”
That was President Obama in January, 2010. So what did he say today?
“One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates…This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. And who are those 50 million Americans? Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.”
Paul Ryan, in response, describes President Obama thus:
He's basically a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.And
Rather than building bridges, he's poisoning wells.This of course would be a more polite way of saying what Joe Wilson said in 2009.
Two things seem clear after today. First, no matter how much some might try to muddy things, the choices couldn't be much more stark in 2012. Second, Paul Ryan may say he's not running for president, and might not intend to run for president, but it's become increasingly clear that he is a guy who needs to run for president in 2012 on the Republican side.