Because we have nothing better to do and because I know this will make EEMOM scream, I think my favorite Sullivan reaction to the Ryan plan was his attempts to control the debate from the confines of Tina Brown’s HUFFPO:
This is the kind of politics Obama swore to avoid in the campaign. We have a serious and flawed plan to get the debt under control – and the Democrats’ immediate response is to go into total opposition. The president has been more muted in his response. But the onus is on him now to provide a plan that matches the impact on the budget that Ryans’ does, with different emphases.
So where is that plan? Or does the president have none?
That was from a post called “Obama Chooses Politics over Policy.” Like I said, there was so much to choose from regarding Sullivan that this was a close call- every one of his worst traits was out in force. Whether it was him flat out lying about me, or his constant fluffing of people like Weisberg (who has now apologized for being wrong, don’t hold your breath on Sully acknowledging that), the mathematical freak show that DougJ has outlined over and over again, his flashback to the Gulf War days and the decadent left- calling every piece of opposition to the fanciful plan “the hard left,” his unwillingness to link to serious economists and thinkers while floating links to National Review and McMegan, or his insistence that the Ryan plan was serious when it was clear it was a cruel joke.
But that one is my favorite. First, he seems unwilling to realize that the decision to gut medicare to reward the super rich is both a policy and political issue, so one simply can not choose to address one aspect and not the other. Protecting medicare from the Republicans is both a policy preference and a political issue, period. Democrats elect people who promise to protect medicare. Republicans elect people who promise to gut social services and reward the rich. These are both political and policy issues. They can not be separated.
But on top of that is the arrogance- deciding that Paul Ryan can go out and propose wild-ass crazy things, but the Democrats are just out of line if they react. No, to Andrew, when the Republicans propose gutting one of the central tenets of the Democratic party, the preservation of a social safety net for the American people, the only appropriate response is for Democrats to propose alternate things to cut. Anything else would not match Sully’s test for seriousness.
Can you imagine an alternate universe, in which the Democrats said “Everyone over 250k will be taxed at 50%, everyone over a million at 90%, everyone over 10 million at 99%, we are changing the estate tax to 75%, capital gains increasing to 35%, transaction taxes for stock sales, carbon taxes, medicare age limit lowered to 45, and abolishing the military.” Anyone here think Sullivan would then say “Republicans better not politicize that…”
*** Update ***
I should note that while Sullivan refuses to realize this is both a policy and political issue, the voters sure recognize it. That is why all the Republicans, who just six months ago were running adds about the Democrats wanting to cut 500 billion from Medicare are now catching fresh hell from their constituents for voting for the Ryan plan to end Medicare.