I haven’t been reading newspapers for several years but when last I did, the GOP was basically getting a pass from “journalists” when they said one thing and then did something else or criticized the Dems for doing something they themselves – Pubs – had advocated. IOW, when they practiced hypocrisy as a political weapon, they got a free pass from the corporate press. Apparently, in the intervening years the Pubs’ hypo has become so outrageous that even the once-fully-tamed WaPo has been forced to notice.
Cutting federal health and retirement spending has long been at the top of the GOP agenda. But with Republicans in striking distance of winning the Senate, they are suddenly blasting the idea of trimming Social Security benefits.
The latest attack came in Georgia, where the National Republican Campaign Committee posted an ad last week accusing Rep. John Barrow (D) of “leaving Georgia seniors behind” by supporting “a plan that would raise the retirement age to 69 while cutting Social Security benefits.”
Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit group founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, has run similar ads against North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D), Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). Crossroads accused Hagan of supporting a “controversial plan” that “raises the retirement age.”
This has been SOP for GOP attack ads for a decade, but at least now someone has noticed and the story isn’t about a “New” GOP stance so much as it’s about a “New Pretend” GOP stance. Instead of taking the kabuki seriously, which is what they’ve been doing for 15 years or so, they’re finally calling attention to the make-believe. They’re still a little tentative about it but at least they’re doing it.
In Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner (R) appears in a new ad with his “Grandma Betty” and vows to“honor every penny we promised today’s seniors” — a pledge that seems to conflict with demands by Republican congressional leaders for a less-generous inflation formula to calculate seniors’ cost-of-living increases. (emphasis added)
Yah, no kidding. But “seems to conflict”? That’s a little lame. But after all, this is the paper where the opposition to Charlie the Kraut is the likes of Zakaria and Ignatius who have made their “careers” by being apologists for the powerful. Still, this is more than one could expect 5 years ago, especially when a writer puts the last nail in the coffin with such dexterity.
Older voters typically dominate the electorate in non-presidential years, so the resort to Social Security as an issue in the Nov. 4 midterms is hardly surprising. But what has drawn attention – and charges of hypocrisy – is the decision by Republican groups to attack Democrats for supporting conservative ideas in a proposed “grand bargain” on the budget drafted by Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming.
Both Crossroads GPS and NRCC, the party’s campaign arm for House races, have cited Democrats’ support for Bowles-Simpson as the basis of their charges on Social Security, though many Republicans — including Rove — have criticized President Obama for failing to support the Bowles-Simpson package.
So just to sum up, we have the Pubs, in one and the same election, condemning Dem candidates for supporting a law and the President for not supporting it. Yah gotta luv it. GOP hypocrisy has reached an all-time high and even the Post is noticing.
Too late, of course. Most of the damage has already been done. But I guess it’s better than nothing.