House Republicans are clearly nervous about being on the wrong side of public opinion in the Medicare debate. They see what’s happening in upstate New York and it worries them. They made a bad vote on an issue where Americans hold a deep connection, and come 2012 they will pay the price.

Unless they can somehow bluff Democrats into abandoning the issue. Which is how we got this ridiculous attempt at revisionist history.

A group of House Republican freshmen, tired of getting hammered on Medicare, is leading a fresh protest against Democrats’ tactics on the senior citizen health care program.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger sent a letter to the White House Tuesday signed by 41 of his classmates “calling on President Obama to end the ‘MediSCARE’ tactics,” according to a release today.

You have to look at the GOP’s press conference on this to really get a sense of how unbelievable it all is. They were asked point-blank if they used “scare tactics” to get elected in 2010. It’s well-documented that House Republicans ran primarily on one issue last year, and that was what they contended were Democratic cuts to Medicare (mostly cuts to corporate welfare to insurance companies known as Medicare Advantage). The reply from Rep. Kinzinger was that everyone should “wipe the slate clean” and “hit the reset button.”

“Yeah, I mean there’s been — again, this is a both-sides issue,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) when asked if GOP candidates and the NRCC had engaged in ‘MediScare’ tactics last year. “To say that one side is blameless in trying to use issues to win votes is just dishonest.” […]

“Let’s get past the past. Let’s move forward to the future, and say, ‘ok, today is today, and we have a real problem,'” Kinzinger said.

There’s no crying in politics. Democrats didn’t demand that Republicans vote to end Medicare and send seniors scurrying with undervalued coupons to get health insurance. They chose that route all by themselves. And votes have consequences, or at least they can if the other side chooses to highlight them. Only now, after House Republicans demagogued Medicare on their way to power, do they want a truce, with both sides refraining from attacks.

It’s quite a morality they have set up for themselves.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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