Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Old Lies

Last year at this time I couldn't post for more than five minutes without bringing up Social Security. Good times.

In last year's State of the Union the President promised a new initiative to "save Social Security." As the American people became aware of what he planned, it was roundly rejected.

In Tuesday's State of the Union, the President referenced the failure of his plan to "save Social Security," and Democrats clapped. To Tony Blankely this was an enormous mistake.
As the party of reactionary inertia -- as the party that not only doesn't have any solutions to today's dangers and problems but denies that such problems exist -- the Democrats on the floor of the House Tuesday night demonstrated a flawless, intuitive sense of its new, disfunctional self.

The Democrats' wild applause on behalf of doing nothing was more than a merely tactical political blunder. It displayed a deeper truth about them.

. . . Social Security is the single most iconic Democratic Party issue of the past hundred years -- the Democrats created Social Security in 1935, and have won countless elections since then by beating up Republicans for allegedly not supporting it.

. . . Worse than that for the Democrats, it shows how severely degraded their political instincts have become. Tip O'Neil's Democratic Party of 20 years ago would never have cheered the failure of Social Security -- even to try to make a small political point. To be sure, they would demagogue the issue ruthlessly, but never be seen to be walking away from the sacred program.
Here's the parts Blankley leaves out. The democrats weren't cheering the end or the failure of Social Security. Rather they were cheering, because they had protected Social Security from President Bush's half-assed scheme for "saving it."

Here's another deception - Blankley gives the impression that Republicans support Social Security. Possibly some do, but Conservatives do not. Conservatives want to either turn Social Security into a program that is not Social Security or they want to do away with it altogether.

This includes the Bush White House. We all remember the memo that stated "for the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win . . . " Six decades ago the debate was over whether or not a program like Social Security was a good idea or the path to socialism. The Bush White House is still fighting that fight, and, last year, they thought they could win it. That should be a pretty big clue about what their program would do to Social Security.

So all in all, I think it's pretty good news that the President failed in his plans to "save Social Security." Certainly news worthy of a little applause.

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