In a downbeat post about today’s leading news (the March jobs report and Obama’s FY 2014 budget), TPM’s Brian Beutler mentions a possibility that hadn’t quite occurred to me:

The risk Obama’s taking is that Republicans on the Hill can now characterize Chained CPI as a consensus policy that should be enacted alone, on the merits, without also increasing taxes, while Republican candidates can run against Obama’s plan to cut Social Security, and thus drive a wedge between Democratic incumbents and the President.

The first part of Beutler’s “risk assessment” is obvious, but could Republican congressional candidates in 2014 actually run against “Obama’s Social Security Cuts,” after decades of lusting for “entitlement reform” and several consecutive years of demanding that Obama give Social Security benefits a haircut or worse?

The main data point we have on that possibility is the relentless GOP campaign against “Obama’s Medicare Cuts” in 2010 and 2012. If Paul Ryan–Paul Ryan–can pose as the savior of Medicare, standing bravely between his mother and mean old Barack Obama, then anything’s possible.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.