We freely admit that we didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the special election up in NY-26 where Democrat Kathy Hochul won in a solidly Republican district and which was alleged to be a referendum on Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan. (For why that may not have been so, check out Left Coast Rebel's assessment, here)
With the apparent national implications of this race, of course, it has to be picked apart nine ways to Sunday by the punditry.
To wit, liberal pundit Joe Klein was yukkin' it up with that hack Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC a couple of nights ago and having a little fun with the never-to-be-mentioned-in-polite-company "S" word. Click here for the exchange.
"It was a victory for socialism," TIME's Joe Klein said of last night's election result in NY-26. A Democrat won a special election to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House from a very conservative district in New York.Yes, the folks love it and it's going broke, Joe.
"For the last two years, Republicans have been lambasting Barack Obama who is right in the middle of the political spectrum, a mild liberal, as being a wild-eyed socialist. Well, there ain't anything that he has proposed that is purely socialistic as our Medicare program; a single payer program run by the government. And the folks love it," Klein also said.
Yeah, ol' Joe was being facetious perhaps but it's good to know that both he and O'Donnell were so tickled over a victory for the status quo, a victory for doing absolutely nothing about the state of our unsustainable obligations and entitlement programs be it Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or state employee union pension and benefit programs. Klein and O'Donnell: definetely not math majors.
Both parties have been whistling past the graveyard for years now with respect to this looming and monumental problem and yet when someone like President Bush merely offers up privatizing a max of 10% of one's Social Security account, much of the public and the whole of the political class went absolutely bonkers - for purely political reasons, for the most part, but bonkers none the less which resulted in a silencing of any further debate on the matter.
Call it scare tactics, call it fringe politics that are exploiting people's fears... call it what you want but it's well past high time to start having these adult conversations about our entitlements while the establishment in both parties continue their whistling.
You know, it's funny: "reform" has such a positive political connotation on about everthing (immigration, Wall St., campaign finance, (re-)districting... you name it) except when it comes to "entitlement". That has to change - the math demands it.