Republicans were dealt a devastating blow this week with the loss of a House seat in New York's 26th congressional district, an area that had long been a GOP stronghold. In a development few expected, Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated the favorite, Republican Jane Corwin, in the special election. Although there was a spoiler third-party candidate, Jack Davis of the tea party, who siphoned off some GOP votes, the reason for the defeat largely rests on the issue that's sure to dominate the 2012 presidential race: Medicare.
From the moment that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., courageously unveiled his plan to reform the increasingly insolvent Medicare in April, Democrats have been using it as a weapon against the GOP. A political ad by the Agenda Project, a liberal advocacy group, went as far as to show a Ryan look-alike pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair off a cliff, ostensibly to demonstrate what his reforms would do to the elderly. How's that for rational debate, Mr. President?
It appears that Democrats have settled on their electoral strategy for 2012, and it has to do with pushing back forcefully on the movement to reform entitlements like Medicare. Plainly put, the left will argue that it is going to give you things while the right is going to take them away.
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