Put aside the fact that before entering Congress Lois Capps spent her career as a nurse and health advocate. Put aside the fact that in Congress Lois Capps is the founder of the House Nursing Caucus and Co-Chair of Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, the House Cancer Caucus, the Congressional School Health and Safety Caucus, and the Democratic Task Force on Health. And put aside the fact that Lois Capps is beloved in her district in large part due to her 13 year Congressional record of strenuously fighting for healthcare rights.
This ad isn't really about any of that. Maybe the RNCC thinks Capps will be vulnerable after redistricting, maybe they're just message testing. But what they're definitely doing is trying to muddy the waters. Two months ago the House passed Paul Ryan's Budget which would end Medicare as we know it. All but 6 Republicans voted for it in the House, all but 5 Republicans voted for it in the Senate, and every Democrat in Congress voted against it. A large majority of the country oppose the plan and last month Kathy Hochul won a stunning upset in the special election for the conservative NY-26th district by turning it into a referendum on the plan.
Even more concerning for Republicans, they lost my grandmother. She's a traditional fiscal conservative who voted for Obama last time because she was disgusted with Sarah Palin, but was unlikely to vote for him again. She's the kind of voter Democrats should be reaching out to and Republicans should be terrified of losing. And on the day the Republicans passed the Ryan Plan, she called me upset because she was worried that the program my great grandmother had relied on, that she relied on, wouldn't be there for my mom and my uncle when they retired. And she's not alone, 74% of seniors and even half of all Republicans oppose the plan.
Democrats were handed a gift on a silver platter: the chance to turn the 2012 election into a referendum on the Republicans "right-wing social engineering" agenda instead of the economy. But for that to work, voters need to be reminded every day between now and the election exactly what the Republicans will do to this country if given the opportunity. And the window is closing. If Democrats don't hammer them on this issue now while the vote is still fresh in people's thoughts, they'll forget. And that's what this ad is about, if the Paul Ryan plan isn't kept in the forefront of voters' minds then come the election all they'll remember will be a series of 'he said/she said' attacks from both sides saying the other is out to destroy Medicare. Not remembering the details or wanting to do the research, Republicans are hoping that voters will then just ignore the issue and focus on the deficit. And if we don't take concerted action soon, they may well be right.