After reading a few articles this week about how Nancy Pelosi is taking Medicare off the table in budget negotiations I was reminded of how important she was as minority leader in 2005 when the Republicans tried to
At this point many Democrats in the house were ready to negotiate, and wanted to come up with their own proposal to fix Social Security. Fortunately, Nancy Pelosi came up with an alternative brilliant in its simplicity: nothing. When asked when the Democrats would be putting out their alternative she would respond with never. Naturally this shocked many people, but the plan worked. Pelosi was able to attack the Republican plan relentlessly. Her strategy turned a common Frank Lutz Approved Republican term into political poison. One libertarian website actually rewrote several of its articles to remove any reference to privatizing.
Today it seems that Pelosi is poised to repeat this success. With the Republican majority in the house anxious to put Medicare on the chopping block Pelosi is standing firm. As well she should. If there's any program in America more popular than Social Security it's Medicare. Right now, the Democrats are poised to pick up a seat in NY-26 all because the Republican nominee supported Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare. Pelosi is poised to attack, and I'm sure all the pundits will claim she's moving her party too far to the left, or that we have to kill Medicare in order to save it. But I'll bet that by 2013 Pelosi will be Speaker again if the Republicans keep on attacking Medicare, and she will have had a huge hand in saving two of the most important strands of the American safety net.