by Mark Moore
New Pryor Ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxVSbIdzcjw
People who know me know that I am no fan of national Republicans like Congressional Wunder-Kid Tom Cotton. I have no idea how or even if, I will vote for U.S. Senate this year, other than it won’t be for the incumbent. So when I deconstruct Senator Mark Pryor’s new ad, you can know that I am not telling you that it’s terrible because I am a red-team partisan. I am telling you that it is terrible because it truly is an awful ad. It’s only “redeeming” feature is that it might work. It might do what it was made to do, which is to use deception to terrify easily confused senior citizens into voting for Pryor.
You would think they were only allowed one take on the ad, so unappealing does Pryor look and sound during the few seconds his handlers allow him to speak on the video. At second six he bobbles his head like some sort of dashboard knick-knack. He does not look the camera in the eye, and any semblance of eye contact he makes with the other actors in the commercial are as synthetic looking as his acting sounds. He looks shifty, and insincere. It’s like on some level he knows that what he is doing is a sham, and that somewhere in his heart whatever human decency is left in him feels revulsion at his own tactics.
In the ad Pryor said he sponsired the “”Medicare Protection Act” to keep Medicare from being destroyed. Mark Pryor has been in office for over a decade. He just filed the “Medicare Protection Act” last month, and it is given a “0% chance of passage” at govtrack. Nor would its passage do much if anything to “protect Medicare” if it miraculously passed, since the little it claimed to do can be just as easily undone by future legislatures. One can’t justly claim to have “done something” on the basis of sponsoring, or even passing, a bill which purports to obligate future legislatures as to how they must act. Each legislature can decide what its own rules will be. So it is pretty obvious this bill is a gimmick. It looks like something Pryor’s campaign consultants cooked up for him so that he could run an ad saying he was trying to save Medicare while his evil opponent wants to destroy it. This is what politics in our former Republic has degenerated to- something too fake and anti-intellectual to rise to the level of a clown show.
Going beyond that, far from protecting it, Mark Pryor, along with the rest of the Democrats and most of the Republicans, are in the process of destroying Medicare. Not deliberately mind you, but simply by insane over-spended of public funds to such unsustainable levels in order to try and buy the votes of the short-sighted and greedy. They are going to try to buy votes by laying more and more on the “safety net” until the thing snaps. For example, we have been running trillion dollar annual deficits since 2007, and Pryor and company think its a good time for another massive expansion of government in the form of Obamacare.
It is delusional. Government is drowning in red trying to maintain our present safety net, yet they want launch major new expansions of government. Can’t they see this lack of fiscal discipline will threaten our entire economic structure? They seem completely oblivious to fiscal reality, or they don’t care about the economic implosion they are causing, because they think they are passing the bill to the next generation. The only way they could get away with such a cowardly and dishonorable course of action is because the voters have let them. They too want to live above their means at the expense of the children, so long as no one makes them face up to the fact that this is what they are doing.
Adding additional absurdity to the claim that anyone who was for Obamacare is trying to “save Medicare” is the fact that the original Obamacare plan called for 400 billion dollars to be cut from Medicare in order to help fund it. Those cuts did not last though, nor are many of the tax increases. They never stick with the planned cuts, but the planned spending not only continues, it consistently exceeds the planned amount. That of course means Obamacare is being funded by debt more than ever. And when our national credit card is maxed out, the whole thing is going to come down just when the population is most dependent on it. Pryor is the one who actually voted to cut Medicare, and his other actions will insure its eventual failure.
Grown ups realize that things have to be paid for, but politicians like Pryor and the people who vote for them want to maintain a state of perpetual adolescence. A decent case could be made that it is really Cotton who is trying to preserve Medicare, because he is the one suggesting benefit reductions (like raising the age of entry to seventy) which might actually make the program sustainable. Personally, I just think Cotton wants to spend the money on other things like more police state at home and foreign interventions abroad, but I don’t know that. What I know is that Pryor’s actions will, intentionally or unintentionally, result in the destruction of Medicare. Of the two, Cotton’s plan is more likely to keep the program alive.
None of this is rocket science. It is not hard to see. Nor are the future consequences and what we are doing to our children with this government debt hard to see. It doesn’t take “genius” to see it, it takes courage and moral virtue to see it. I am depressed at the very thought that this tricksey Pryor ad might work at garnering the vote of anyone outside of persons who are suffering from some sort of senile dementia. I would hope that the vast majority of voters could see right past it.