Dems, progressive groups keep pressure on over Medicare

DEMS, PROGRESSIVE GROUPS KEEP PRESSURE ON OVER MEDICARE…. About a week ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) launched the first of many salvos over the House Republican budget plan, creating an ad that used humor to drive an important point home: the GOP’s agenda on Medicare would hurt seniors.

This morning, the DCCC has a new video emphasizing a related but distinct message: “House Republicans promised to protect Medicare. They lied.” The point of the video is to emphasize an angle the GOP would prefer voters forgot about: Republicans spent much of 2010 running on a pro-Medicare platform, with the party’s candidates vowing to be Medicare’s protectors and champions. Three months into the new Congress, these same Republicans voted to eliminate the program altogether and replace it with a privatized voucher scheme.

The video is pretty compelling — high-profile Republican candidates really did say one thing and almost immediately after getting to Washington, did another.

The new DCCC clip doesn’t seem intended for broadcast — it’s one minute and 19 seconds long, rather than a half-minute for a televised commercial — but it’s nevertheless a reminder of the kind of message we’ll see in the 2012 cycle. What’s more, its launch coincides with a new DCCC robocall effort, targeting 25 House Republicans, telling their constituents these representatives “voted to end Medicare rather than end taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil companies making record profits or tax breaks for the ultra rich.”

What’s more, the DCCC effort comes the same time as a new campaign from Americans United for Change, which has a new 30-second spot that will air this week on local TV stations in several districts, including Paul Ryan’s in Wisconsin, and a robocall effort targeting voters over 45 in nearly two dozen Republican House districts.

The GOP took a risk voting to eliminate Medicare, and Republicans had to know this was coming. The severity of the political price they’ll pay remains to be seen, but the left clearly sees a vulnerability and intends to keep the pressure on.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.