See, Newt didn't know. Newt didn't know just how wildly successful the strategy (that he was himself part of) of radicalizing the GOP base had become since the days he left office. And so, he spent the last week doing an apology tour, but the base or the GOP leaders in Washington has not been feeling very forgiving.
All but four House Republicans voted for Ryan's kill-Medicare budget plan, it turns out, despite dire warnings from their own pollsters that it would be political suicide. You can't cut them off at the knees - even if you are the former Republican Speaker of the House! If you want to be a Republican in good standing, these days, you must want to end Medicare. You must want to charge 33 seniors $6,000 each a year to pay for the average millionaire's tax cut. That is evidently the definition of modern day conservatism.
But the national Republicans are as aware as the Democrats of what a tremendous mistake it was for them to put every House Republican on the record, and make all but four of them vote to kill Medicare. In fact, President Obama and Leader Pelosi have no intention of letting this one go, despite the pathetic whining by the Republican freshmen telling the White House to stop picking on them. Pelosi and Tammy Baldwin have taken the fight right to Ryan's doorstep in Wisconsin to remind voters - who are likely to vote soon on recalling several Republican state senators from office - that the House Budget Czar Ryan's plan is to kill Medicare. Ads from the Democrats and progressive groups have taken the Medicare vote and hung it around the necks of the Republican party.
Ads like this one:
And this one:
And this one, in a blood red district (NY-26) that is now in danger of leaving the Republican column for no other reason than its Republican candidate's pledge to support the Ryan plan to kill Medicare:
By the way, the vote in this district is today! Go help out Kathy Hochul's campaign in any way you can!
And Harry Reid plans to put Senate Republicans on the record on the Ryan kill-Medicare plan this week. Mitch McConnell, though, having better insight into politics than the dumbest House Speaker in recent memory John Boehner, already announced that he will not whip Senate Republicans on this vote.
Maybe he won't. But believe me, the base will. The right wing whackjob tea party base will be watching who in the Senate is standing by Ryan's kill Medicare plan and who is "betraying" them. The Republicans thought they could use the Tea Party to win elections. And they did, at least one election. But now, the Tea Party will eat them alive. Gotta love the irony in justice.