They’ve Come Undone

Lots of laugh-out-loud stuff in blogtopia about the right’s unhinged reaction to Pres. Obama’s speech yesterday.

They Be Off the Wall in Rightie Land,” cracks Barbara O’Brien:

Wow, Republicans must be really worried that the Ryan budget essentially handed President Obama a huge campaign weapon to use against them. Their reaction to the President’s budget speech is utterly off the wall. A sampling: the Wall Street Journal called the speech “toxic” and “divisive”; Charles Krauthammer called it “a disgrace“; Karl Rove described “President Obama’s wild rhetorical gyrations” and then predicted the budget debate will help Republicans, which is Rovian for “OMG we’ve got to bury this in mud before anybody sees it.”

There’s enough hysteria and hyperbole coming out of the Wall Street Journal alone to re-float the Titanic. What’s coming from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh could keep the space shuttle program going ten more years and possibly fuel a manned Mars landing. This is terror, people. The Powers That Be on the Right must have suddenly realized they really did overplay their hand and possibly gave away the 2012 election.

Get out the smelling salts, advises Blue Texan at Firedoglake:

Those sensitive, shrinking violets on the right took a day off from their racist dog whistles and comparing Barack Obama to murderous tyrants to whine about their hurt fee-fees.

The Very Courageous Paul Ryan mewled that Obama was “excessively partisan” and the non-partisan Wall Street Journal one-upped him, deeming the speech “blisteringly partisan.” The National Review’s Jim Geraghty was quite upset that Obama so “ferociously demonized” poor Ryan. Former Bush administration official Greg Mankiw also objected to Obama’s “demonizing the opposition.” And Charles Krauthammer gasped,

I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor.

My goodness, pass the smelling salts.

Meanwhile, over at National Review Online, Ramesh Ponnuru continues the proud far right tradition of never, ever putting in a link. In fact, their aversion to links at NRO is so strong that in a two-page article criticizing the criticism of Obama’s speech, there isn’t a single one. Not one. Even for specific factual claims, as in this passage about the Ryan plan’s elimination of the federal Medicaid program (emphasis is mine):

According to too many sources to quote, the plan is cruel to the poor. Replacing Medicaid with capped block grants to the states will force states to reduce benefits for some low-income people and end them entirely for others.

There are many assumptions involved here. One is that either Washington would enact the Ryan plan but shrink from enacting other conservative reforms to make health insurance more affordable to the working poor, or these reforms would prove ineffective. Another is that states would engage in a “race to the bottom” in benefit levels. That is the exact claim that opponents of welfare reform made when that program was converted into a system of block grants to the states in 1996, and they threw around terms such as “cruel” and “heartless” as well. They were wrong then, and they could be wrong now. It is worth remembering that patient outcomes show no difference between having Medicaid benefits and having no health insurance at all.

Because Ramesh Ponnuru says so, apparently.


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Filed under Economy, Health, Law, Politics

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