Wednesday, January 25


The 101st Fighting Keyboarders are strangely silent on the issue:

Why the great silence, one wonders? As a classic welfare/entitlement program with its cultural roots in the New Deal, Medicare has hardly been the apple of the right’s eye. Indeed, the epic and humiliating arm-twisting that was needed to get the drug program passed by the GOP-controlled House in 2003 amply demonstrates that conservatives were uneasy about this program from the start. Nor was the right blogosphere so shy about commenting on the Katrina disaster.

But there, I think, lies the key. As incompetent as FEMA was on that occasion, a handful of Democratic office-holders were skulking conveniently nearby to absorb some of the blame—or, if you believe the right, ALL the blame.

But no Mayor Nagin or Gov. Blanco is available as a target for finger-pointing here. Bush demanded the program, a Republican Congress passed it over Democratic objections, and a Medicare bureaucracy eviscerated by the Bush White House put it into action. Like the Abramoff thing, this is a Republican scandal down to its bones. Moreover, it’s one that will pack megatons more wallop than any old lobbyist-bribery scandal. This one hurts people by the hundreds of thousands, and possibly by the millions. The bureaucratic nightmare is something everyone will understand. Millions of voters will be falling into the dreaded "doughnut hole" right around Labor Day, just at the moment when expensive campaign ads paid for by cash from the pharmaceutical and health care industries start hitting the airwaves. No wonder the right is doing what it can to sweep this disaster under the rug.


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