Interlude—Failed by Drum: We’re fans of Kevin Drum around here.
Yesterday, Kevin Drum failed us.
At the close of the week, Drum published this post, “An Itsy Bitsy $716 Billion Medicare Q&A.” He answered six questions about the ongoing Medicare muddle.
None of the questions were these:
Did Obama steal, rob, siphon, take or remove $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund?All week long, we’ve begged for answers. Yesterday, Drum presented his Q-and-A—and he skipped both questions.
After stealing that money, did he spend it on Obamacare?
How did we come up with our questions? From the Romney camp's attacks on Obama! Romney, Ryan and RNC chairman Reince Priebus have explicitly said that Obama stole $716 from the Medicare trust fund, then spent it on Obamacare.
Those are very specific charges. But are the charges true?
We've been asking that question all week. Kevin didn’t say.
Will we liberals ever learn how to argue? Will we ever be willing to challenge the work of the mainstream press? One of the ways you argue is this:
You challenge the claims your opponents are making! Especially when their claims are false! Beyond that, you scream and yell when the “mainstream press corps” refuses to do that job.
Our own assumption would be the following: No! Obama didn't take a sack of cash from the Medicare trust fund. As far as we know, he didn’t take any money from the Medicare trust fund at all. (Although we’ll assume that many liberals secretly think he did.)
For that reason, he couldn’t have spent that big sack of money on Obamacare. Or on anything else.
Romney’s charges are bogus. But the Washington Post and the New York Times have been working hard to avoid confronting these charges.
As usual, the liberal world has been willing to let this go.
Why do these charges matter? On Wednesday night’s O’Reilly Factor, Dick Morris explained what voters hear when Romney makes those accusations. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/23/12).
In his National Memo column this week, Gene Lyons gave the same explanation, in more pungent terms. This is what voters are being told when Romney makes those charges. We join the explanation in progress:
LYONS (8/22/12): In case that’s too subtle, Romney himself has said “there’s only one president that I know of in history that has robbed Medicare.” He told an audience in Ohio that Obama “has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund. He’s raided that trust fund.Duh. That’s what voters are being told when Romney says that Obama “robbed the trust fund” to pay for Obamacare. This leads to the questions we've asked all week:
“And do you know what he did with it? He used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven, federal takeover of health care.”
On “Meet the Press,” Republican National Committee chairman Rience Priebus declared that “This president stole...$700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama.”
Robbed, stole, raided, blood on his hands.
Then who IS Obamacare for, if not for you and yours?
A recent letter to my local newspaper spelled out what Romney’s too tasteful to say: “obese, lay-about, cigarette-smoking, drug-taking, welfare-sucking, emergency-room-visiting no-accounts...[who] expect the government to provide them everything for free.”
That’s right, THEM.
THEY are getting YOUR benefits.
Did Obama take $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund? Did he use that big wad of cash to pay for Obamacare?
We're fans of Kevin Drum. Yesterday, he didn’t answer our questions. But people, you know what we say around here!
That’s right. No answers, no peace!
Coming Monday: In 1995, the RNC fought the Medicare coverage