Six weeks ago this coming Friday, all but four Republicans in the U.S. House voted in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan, which includes a massive overhaul of Medicare.
The result of that vote has thus far been a political disaster. It has rejuvenated the Democrats, spurred protests at town hall meetings and spawned poll after poll showing widespread opposition to meddling with Medicare.
But it isn’t as if GOP House leaders weren’t warned of such consequences.
Glenn Thrush and Jake Sherman of Politico.com EXPLAIN how Republican dissenters were steamrolled during the run-up to the fateful vote.
A few excerpts:
The poll numbers on the plan were so toxic — nearly as bad as those of President Barack Obama’s health reform bill at the nadir of its unpopularity — that staffers with the National Republican Congressional Committee warned leadership, “You might not want to go there” in a series of tense pre-vote meetings.
But go there Republicans did, en masse and with rhetorical gusto — transforming the political landscape for 2012, giving Democrats a new shot at life and forcing the GOP to suddenly shift from offense to defense.
GOP pollsters, political consultants and House and NRCC staffers vividly reminded leadership that their members were being forced to walk the plank for a piece of quixotic legislation. They described for leadership the horrors that might be visited on the party during the next campaign, comparing it time and again with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to ram through a cap-and-trade bill despite the risks it posed to Democratic incumbents.