Vice Presidential Debate Analysis

It has certainly been awhile, but the VP debate poses as good an opportunity to get back into the swing of things as any other event. Let’s do it, bullet-point style:

  • When Ryan claims that his Medivoucher program will not cut benefits to anyone who needs them, but simply reduce benefits for the rich, it is the first step in a long process to end the program. True, vouchers with support for the poor is not so bad in itself, if indeed it covers everyone’s medical costs (unlikely as it is), but turning a universal benefit program into a means-tested program is the easiest way to reduce the policy constituency and therefore splinter the political clout of those who are still in the program. Universal programs have much more of a shelf-life than means-tested ones, and Ryan is quite aware of this. This is why it is true that Ryan would end Medicare—his policies would create a path dependence in which the complete retrenchment of the social safety net would  take shape.
  • Essentially the playbook of Romney-Ryan is to take the opposite view of Obama-Biden. It is pretty odd that such a strategy would be employed in America’s uber-ideological struggle. However, the one characteristic of the current party system that is more dominantly divisive that ideology is partisanship, and essentially that is what this is. Romney-Ryan will position themselves wherever they see an electoral advantage, but the problem is they are alienating their base
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Posted on October 12, 2012, in 2012 Election, Elections, Foreign Affairs, Party System and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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