In yet another example of the Republican Party finding its ever diminishing willy in a wringer, a new poll reveals that anyone who hasn't been living in a cave understands: Even though the Tea Party, the folks that have captured the GOP's base if not its imagination, wants Big Government out of its members lives, its members don't want Medicare and Medicaid out of theirs.
The envelope, please: A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that a whopping 70 percent of registered voters who were able to get out of their Barcaloungers and identified themselves as Tea Partiers when they answered the phone oppose making cuts to either Medicare or Medicaid -- the government-run health programs for the elderly and the poor -- to help reduce the deficit.
Tea Partiers have plenty of company with an overwhelming 80 percent of all respondents saying they oppose cuts. A majority of every demographic measured in the survey was similarly inclined with 92 percent of Democrats in opposition, 73 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents.
Why the opposition? Because the Republican alternative of privatizing Medicare would sharply increase the cost to the children of seniors. (You see, there will be manned exploration of Mars before the Republican plan is completely rolled out.)
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the Medicare hike at 40 percent for a typical 65 year old, while making deep cuts in Medicaid will hurt the people that can afford it least.
One of the few sour notes in Barack Obama's 2008 victory was that he lost seniors by 8 percentage points, but the Republicans -- ever blind to larger realities -- could now be in trouble in states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio with outsized senior populations, while the Democrats have launched a series of TV attack ads against key GOP senators "who want to abolish Medicare."
While I have predicted that Paul Ryan's multi-trillion dollar Reverse Robin Hood deficit reduction plan would die in its crib, I failed to estimate the extent of rank hypocrisy of Tea Partiers.
Say goodnight, Paul. Sweet dreams. Just don't expect the Two Percenters to tuck you in.