(Updated: Paul Ryan’s plan failed to pass the Senate 57-40 with five Repblicans breaking rank: Snowe, Collins, Brown, Murkowski, and Rand Paul)
No matter how Republicans will spin Kathy Hochul’s victory in New York’s 26th District, this was largely about Paul Ryan’s ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget plan with its systematic dismantling of Medicare. The message is already being spread in conservative camps that Jane Corwin‘s loss last night was the result of a spoiler candidate. Jack Davis; who has run for office previously as a Democrat, but ran as the Tea Party candidate against Hochul and Corwin. Davis picked up 8% of the vote. Given that the difference between Hochul and Corwin was 5% combined with the accusation that Davis was a Democrat masquerading as a Tea Party candidate, it’s hard to believe that Davis could have been a spoiler for Corwin.
The outcome of the race was more likely due to Corwin’s approval of the ever increasingly unpopular budget plan put forth by Paul Ryan. That budget plan has already passed the House by all but four Republicans and is scheduled to go to the Senate floor soon. Ryan has been attempting damage control for several weeks now and even Newt Gingrich has received some blowback for being critical of the plan. Now Conservatives are in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. Ryan was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe saying that “having the ability to scare seniors is powerful.”
Perhaps Mr. Ryan should stop scaring them. And wasn’t it not too long ago that the Republicans were screaming ‘death panels’ and something about ‘pulling the plug on Grandma’?
Democrats have become extremely energized by the win. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) pointed out that Republicans spent $3.4 million trying to keep NY-26 outspending the Democrats four to one. He is already preparing for challenges in 97 other House seats for 2012. The RNC probably better get busy fundraising.
The next phase of the battle will be the Wisconsin recalls coming up this summer. Will Wisconsin Democrats be energized by the NY-26 victory in numbers large enough to unseat the Republicans up for recall? I suspect that combined with the outrage over Scott Walker’s union busting measures that they will.
If that happens then there may be enough energy for Democrats to retake the House in 2012. And perhaps hold on to the Senate. At the very least it may have an effect of getting Republicans to actually begin governing rather than obstructing. Already the Republican Senators from Maine are on record for not supporting the Ryan plan.
Wouldn’t it be nice if government actually worked the way it was intended to?
- Democrat Kathy Hochul wins upstate NY race – Reuters (news.google.com)
- NY-26: Hochul Wins by Tarring Corwin with GOP Medicare Phase-Out Budget (news.firedoglake.com)
- Medicare proposal may have cost GOP a House seat in New York – Boston Herald (news.google.com)
- Medicare key to shocking Dem win in NY House race (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Steve Israel, DCCC Chair, Turns Sights To 97 Republicans And Unseating Paul Ryan (huffingtonpost.com)