I’m very hesitant to ever give any Republicans any kind of credit for strategic intelligence. But it might be possible that Mitt Romey’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was not just good, but genius.
Here’s Yuval Levin in the Corner:
It’s at least a bit odd for Democrats who say Ryan is the devil to defend President Obama’s raid on Medicare by saying Paul Ryan does the same thing — and what’s more, it’s not true. The Ryan budget puts those $700 billion into the Medicare trust fund, to shore up the program’s future and reduce the deficit, rather than spending the money on yet another new entitlement. And Mitt Romney proposes not to make those Obamacare cuts in the first place — keeping the money in Medicare’s operating budget and so leaving the program simply as it is for today’s seniors and starting his premium-support reform for younger Americans when they retire, beginning a decade from now. Both undo Obama’s raid on Medicare, and both support a plan to save Medicare from bankruptcy in the years ahead.
I don’t think Axelrod and Maddow were just setting out to lie exactly — it’s worse than that. Listening to them, it seemed as if they really hadn’t realized until now the situation they were in. They’re used to a certain order of things on Medicare and have not stopped to grasp what Obamacare has done to them. They assume it must be true that Republicans want to cut benefits and Democrats want to preserve them. But it’s not true, not anymore. You could see that panicked realization slowly rising in Maddow’s eyes as she was pressed.
Has Romney ju-jitsued the Democrats into hurting themselves with their own scaremongering over Medicare? Dare I say, “Brilliant”? Only if they keep making decisions like this. A campaign can make a game-changing pick for VP and still fly straight into the ground (*cough!*MCCAIN!*cough!*).