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Social Security and Medicare – Democratic Punchlines

Saturday, October 06, 2012


One doesn’t have to be a seasoned political operative to have observed the fact that, in order to overcome Congressman David Cicilline’s impaired reputation and dismal approval ratings, local Democratic leaders decided to simply take advantage of the partisan advantage they hold in Rhode Island this election season. Their overall strategy has been to tie Republican candidates to – get this – the Republican Party!

Just months ago Democrats were suggesting that it wasn’t the Republican Party that Americans need to be concerned with, but rather a handful of “Tea Party extremists” who were holding the GOP “hostage.” That was according to RI Democratic Party chairman Ed Pacheco, among others.

But without an identified “Tea Party candidate” to pummel in the CD-1 congressional race, Democrats decided to apply their denigration of the Tea Party to the entire Republican establishment. Now, apparently, the political party that nearly half of the country favors somehow represents some sort of dangerous marginal extremism.

That’s what the Rhode Island Democrats are currently selling.

We can find the Democrats’ lead spokesman Bill Fischer continuously using the word “Republican” as a clear-cut pejorative as he – with a straight face – actively promotes Democratic candidates here in the Ocean State. In one instance, in what was supposed to be an argument in favor of David Cicilline and liberal policies, Fischer accused Brendan Doherty of being a “Romney Republican” who will “vote for Republican control in Congress.”

Fischer figured that out all by himself.

Perhaps it will go down as one of the most ignoble ironies in all of Rhode Island history – the image of Bill Fischer standing amongst the rubble that is Rhode Island, a state that can only be described as a failed Democratic experiment, cynically informing the voters that they should fear Republican governance.

Romney The Radical?

If dishonesty was funny, I’d laugh. But lying isn’t funny. It’s a sin.

Guided by Fischer’s strategy to tie Doherty tightly to the party that many Rhode Islanders have been trained to despise, the Cicilline campaign decided to criticize Doherty within a TV ad for having the audacity to believe that it would “be fantastic for Rhode Island” if the former governor of Massachusetts won the presidency – a statement that Doherty buttressed by explaining that Mitt Romney “understands the plight of New England states.”

Cicilline’s campaign manager Eric Hyers seemed embarrassingly proud of the campaign’s pouncing on the oh-so-rare opportunity to knit a candidate to his own political party, declaring that they would continue to “[highlight]…Mitt Romney and the Republican Party’s ideas” in order to reveal the “radical Republican ideas that are just plain wrong for Rhode Island.”

Radical? The Republican Party? Tell that to Texas, where the business climate thrives, and where people are moving to in “droves.” (The Economist)

Mitt Romney, radical? The candidate who the media claims is unable to “rally” or “energize” the GOP’s conservative base? The man who worked with Democrats in Massachusetts to implement government-centric healthcare, and forced citizens to purchase health insurance? The candidate who just promised to maintain the current amount of revenue that Washington annually takes in? One of the few Republican presidential candidates who shrugged off the concept of a flat income tax, and who promised last Wednesday night not to decrease the amount of taxes that top income-earners pay? The man who supports the National Defense Authorization Act? The “Massachusetts moderate”? That guy?

For Bill Fischer and the Democrats, this isn’t about the truth. This is about making sure a Providence dirtbag continues to represent Rhode Island in the halls of Congress.

Profit From Lies

When Democrats aren’t being forced to debate Republicans on live television and have their clocks cleaned by superior ideas and philosophies, they rely on media cover-ups and 30-second political ads that remind Rhode Islanders of what Democrats have always told them – that Republicans aim to strip seniors of their Social Security and Medicare entitlements.

It clearly doesn’t matter to Bill Fischer that this was essentially PolitiFact’s 2011 Lie of the Year. Fischer recently put out a press release that said, “Democrats recognize Medicare as a fundamental right for seniors, who have earned it, while Republicans view Medicare as a negotiable budget item that can be cut as they see fit.”

These are the lies that Fischer gets paid to tell.

Two months ago WPRI’s Ted Nesi reported that David Cicilline was handing out a one-page flier to senior citizens “that could mislead them about [Brendan Doherty’s] position on Social Security.”

But even the media can’t shame Democrats into telling the truth. After all, the wholesale defamation of the Republican Party has proven to be an effective strategy for Democrats here in Rhode Island, where left-wing political myths have been most solidified.

This week a handful of activists from the Cicilline campaign showed up at Doherty’s headquarters, with the media present, “carrying prescription pill bottles and a message that they are ‘very concerned’ about Doherty's support for repealing Obamacare” – a political stunt that, again, dishonestly misrepresented Doherty’s and the GOP’s repeated assertions that seniors will be protected from all entitlement reforms.

But each election cycle, Democrats can’t help but campaign off of the prejudice, bigotry, and ignorance that they have helped to design and deliver. In 2012, Bill Fischer & Company have simply decided to reap the benefits of the distortions their party has sowed inside the Rhode Island mind.

And the reaping is just as dishonorable as the sowing. Fischer is no better than Cicilline.

Why Do Republicans Bother?

If we truly lived in a just world, every Rhode Island voter would understand why Republicans continue to confront the issues of Washington entitlements, as doing so never fails to subject them to political pitfalls.

The fact of the matter is that the manner in which Democrats perceive and manipulate the issue of elderly entitlements is not unlike how Jack Nicholson describes Tom Cruise’s outlook on Marine Corps values in the movie A Few Good Men. Playing the role of Colonel Nathan Jessup, Nicholson lashes out at Lt. Lionel Caffey (Cruise), declaring that the Marines “use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.”

Republicans attempt to solve grave problems. Democrats exploit grave problems – ultimately creating crises – in order to extend their time in power and advance their agendas.

The Central Falls pension system, among others, was approaching complete depletion for years. Union leaders and Democratic politicians ignored Republican warnings until it was too late. And retirees ended up suffering the most. Coming quickly down the pike are similar realities for Social Security, Medicare, and the federal budget as a whole. According to Timothy Geithner, President Obama’s Treasury Secretary, in less than a decade the combined spending obligations of Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and the servicing of the national debt will consume over 90 percent of the federal budget.

Why do Republicans choose not to abandon the issue of entitlement bankruptcy? Because, for the most part, Republicans are good and decent people.

Why do Democrats decide to exploit, manipulate – and then recklessly ignore – these issues? Because, down deep, they’re all a bunch of David Cicillines.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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