A special election with significant consequences

A special election is being held today in New York’s 26th congressional district, a seat once held by Rep. Chris Lee (R). You’ll recall Lee was the member forced to resign after pictures of his shirtless frame appeared on the Internet while he was soliciting sex, yet still happily married.
 
There’s no question the vote will be a nail biter. The reliably Republican district is up for grabs as Democrat Kate Hochul has whipped her opponent, Jane Corwin, silly with relentless attacks over her party’s support for Medicare reforms. Corwin has fought the good fight, but the Ryan plan she backs is definitely weighing her down. It’s understandable. The Ryan plan for Medicare is a tough political pill. Voters are anxious. And they’re also naïve.
 
Recriminations are already flowing from Republican enclaves here in Washington, as political insiders are going on the record (now, of all times) saying they told you so — that the Medicare reforms were a non-winner.
 
Let’s face it, folks, Medicare is broke. The nonpartisan actuaries dropped a few more years from its life just last week. And here we have (seniors first among them) a set of voters that continues to want something for nothing.
 
I said as much when the GOP retook control of the House late last year — if they think they are entering a new era of a “permanent majority,” then they’re smoking something funny.
 
These are difficult times that demand serious leadership. The country saw that Democrats under Barack Obama are incapable of said leadership, so they reverted to a party that was sober enough to admit we’re in a fiscal hurt locker.
 
And now, when the tough decisions come due, and voters are faced with the choice, they’re not liking the options. Republicans should count on that, and yet, they SHOULD STILL MOVE FORWARD!
 
Now is not the time for those of weak constitutions. Republicans didn’t get elected to then turn around and get reelected two years later. Someone please show them the door if they believed anything but …
 
They were elected in 2010 to change this town. And to stare down the largest of federal leviathans — entitlement spending — and do something about it.
 
Now is the time to fix Medicare, and Social Security. Damn the fallout, let’s do the right thing!
 
If Democrats showed any courage, it was certainly on healthcare. The polls said it was a political stinker, and still they voted in lockstep for the measure. Now they think that one day they might be vindicated. Even if they're wrong (which they are), you have to hand it to them — they felt in their heart of hearts they were doing the right thing. Can someone show a Republican that playbook?
 
The same argument could be made for Republicans and Medicare; only with this issue, history will prove them right. Fate does not reward nor assign hero status to those who merely continue the status quo. There are no milestones that mark monotony.
 
An argument could be made in the special election that conservative views in the form of a third party, Tea Party, candidate are what will ultimately cause Corwin to lose if she does in fact fall tonight.
 
It's difficult to say if this race is a harbinger of things to come if Republicans don’t abandon their bid to reform Medicare. Yet one thing is certain, there may not be a better time to mend a broken program. And if Republicans let political expediency govern their decisions this year, our grandchildren will see a different Medicare, allright … one that no longer exists because it went insolvent in 2024.