Here’s why Paul Ryan’s budget plan bodes ill for GOP in next year’s elections


E.J. Dionne covers a lot of ground in THIS POST, but the best part is near the end:

Americans simply do not agree with the approach that Rep. Paul Ryan has laid out…It’s clear from the polling that Americans would rather raise taxes on the wealthy than slash away at the federal government’s programs to offer health coverage to the elderly and the less well-off. On the merits, I think this majority is right.

And the more conservatives make 2012 like 2010, the more they will rally progressive voters to the polls. 2010 was a classic midterm protest election — conservative turnout was way up relative to progressive and moderate turnout. The Ryan budget is creating more energy among its opponents than among conservatives; or, to put it another way, to the extent that Ryan is rallying positive energy on the right, it is among people who were already going to come out and vote Republican anyway. But by reminding progressives of the stakes in 2012, Ryan will bring many of them back to the voting booths. That is one reason why President Obama is talking about the Ryan budget so much. Another is that middle-of-the-road voters will like it less the more they know about it.


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