Why the Republican Mediscare attack is magically dwindling

GOPers now want to attack Democrats for Medicare cuts in Obamacare. The problem: They voted for them too

Published March 5, 2014 7:43PM (EST)

Mitch McConnell                                                 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Mitch McConnell (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

I've already run through all the technical reasons why the GOP's latest round of attacks on Democrats for cutting Medicare is built on a foundation of film-flam. And in so doing I noted that part of the problem they face is that so many of the party's own members have voted numerous time to institute or keep the same cuts.

But I didn't realize quite how prohibitive that would be for Republicans until I looked at Senate campaigns taking shape around the country.

It turns out that many of the Republican Party's Senate candidates are currently House members, and most GOP House members voted for the GOP budget, which includes those same Medicare cuts. And in five key Senate races -- including, ironically, Mitch McConnell's -- the GOP candidate has voted for the Medicare cuts and the Democrat hasn't.

In Arkansas, Colorado and Louisiana, vulnerable Democrats (Mark Pryor, Mark Udall and Mary Landrieu, respectively) will probably be running against House Republicans (Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner and Bill Cassidy), all of whom have voted for the Medicare cuts.

In Montana, Georgia, West Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky the eventual Republican candidates will almost certainly be Medicare-cut backers running against Democrats who never voted for them.

The GOP's likely Montana nominee Steve Daines voted for them; interim Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., hasn't (at least not yet).

The Georgia GOP Senate primary is chockablock with Republicans who voted for the cuts -- one of them will be running against Michelle Nunn, who hasn't.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., voted for the cuts. So did Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who will probably be running against former Dem Rep. Travis Childers, who ironically was a member of the House when the Affordable Care Act passed, but he voted against it.

And in Kentucky, McConnell voted to cut Medicare Advantage payments, but Alison Grimes has not.

That still leaves a few Dems on the hook, but fewer than the NRSC would like. Am I missing any?

By Brian Beutler

Brian Beutler is Salon's political writer. Email him at bbeutler@salon.com and follow him on Twitter at @brianbeutler.

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