The Tweet of the Day comes by way of Molly Ball, a politics writer at The Atlantic, who posted this gem this morning.
This may seem surprising at a certain level. After all, House Republicans are necessarily going to love the House Republican budget plan, aren’t they? They all worship Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and are eager to follow his lead, right?
Well, the answer falls somewhere between “sort of” and “not entirely.”
A year ago, GOP leaders recognized the anxiety felt by some of its caucus members, but told Republicans to hold hands and jump off the cliff together. They did, and when the final vote came on the party’s right-wing, Medicare-killing plan, 235 House Republicans – 98% of the caucus – voted for it.
Democrats were probably even happier than Republicans with the vote – the attack ads wrote themselves – and vulnerable GOP members started feeling pretty intense pressure almost immediately. It was as clear an example of political overreach as anything we’ve seen in recent memory, and Congress’ approval rating began to tank.
Now, the leadership is asking these same members to take another plunge, only this time, it’s an election year.
A lot will be said in the coming weeks – by me, among others – about the far-right nature of the new House Republican budget plan, and the extent to which it reneges on the bipartisan agreement the GOP already accepted. But there’s another angle to keep in mind: what Republicans intend to do is unpopular.
Igor Volsky and Travis Waldron flagged some of the more offensive elements of the plan – forcing seniors to pay more for health care; cutting coverage for the elderly and disabled; eliminating coverage for 30 million Americans; giving a big tax cut to the wealthy; cutting the safety net while increasing Pentagon spending – and it’s worth appreciating the fact that the American mainstream doesn’t support any of this.
Republicans can read polls as well as anyone else, and the most vulnerable among them may balk at sticking their necks out twice on a budget plan that can’t pass the Senate anyway.
Last April, just four House Republicans voted against the Ryan plan. This year, I suspect that number will go up, not down.