Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some species eat their young. GOP eat their old.

Nikki Haley, South Carolina's governor

Nikki Haley, the newly elected governor of South Carolina, has reacted vehemently to the comments Newt Gingrich made Sunday on "Meet the Press" about Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan.  Newt called it "Right-wing social engineering."  Mr. Gregory asked if that reply indicated that he wasn't in favor of the Ryan plan:
MR. GREGORY:   But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, which is completely changing Medicare?
REP. GINGRICH:  I, I think that, I think, I think that that is too big a jump.  I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon the--I don't want to--I'm against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.
CNN describes Haley's response to the interview:
What he said was absolutely unfortunate," Haley told CNN in a phone interview. "Here you've got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity, and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees."
For better or worse (put me quietly down for "worse," despite being a native son of the Palmetto State), South Carolina's Republican primary has picked the winner of the GOP presidential nomination in every election since 1980.  So Newt may want to think about making nice with Governor Haley, who is apparently quite popular with her party in her home state. 

The Republican party remains tied up in a tizzy.  The party can either continue to pander to its right wing base, and be seen as throwing seniors under the bus to protect the tax cuts of millionaires, or come up with some workable combination of entitlement program benefit reductions, means testing and tax increases to make the social safety net work.  Unfortunately, every major leader in the Republican party is sticking to a stated policy of no increase in taxes that can't conceivably work for reducing the deficit without radically gutting social security, medicare and medicaid.  The math simply compels the conclusion.

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