Mandate From Seniors?

The highly selective nonsense surrounding various claims that “the American people” provided a “mandate” on November 6 for this or that just reached a new peak of absurdity: the idea that seniors just love Paul Ryan’s thinking about “entitlement reform.” In a post urging House Republicans to dump John Boehner for Paul Ryan, Erick Erickson of RedState seems to be making that case:

Paul Ryan managed to get through a brutal Presidential campaign with higher favorables than the incumbent Vice President, saw senior citizens actually gravitate to him instead of runaway from him and his proposals, and Paul Ryan is actually speaking up defending conservative values, ideals, and principles while John Boehner is trying to muddy them and compromise them away.

We’re going to hear the bit about seniors a lot between now and whenever Ryan decides to run for president. Never mind that white seniors have been trending very, very hard Republican since 2006, regardless of who it is they are being asked to vote for. Never mind that Ryan spent much of his relatively brief time on the 2012 campaign trail demagoguing “Obama’s Medicare cuts.” And never mind that almost no one actually votes for presidential candidates based on anything a running-mate says or does. It’s now been proved seniors are prepared to march on Washington demanding entitlement reform. Takes away some of the sting of defeat, eh?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.