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« Americanism versus Anti-Americanism. | WILLisms.com | Sister Souljah Moment For Michael Moore, and Ted Kennedy? »

Liberals Thinking They've Already Won On Social Security.

Kevin Drum, writing for The Washington Monthly magazine's blog, "Political Animal," describes Social Security reform as if it were merely some kind of decoy or distraction for some other initiative, because, "it now looks pretty certain that George Bush's private account plan isn't going to fly."

Drum, one of the more influential bloggers on the liberal side of the blogosphere, believes Social Security reform is merely posturing, but he can't figure out why:

"Bush has smart people advising him, and they must realize that the odds of getting Social Security privatization passed is virtually nil. My guess is that it can't even pass the House, and there's zero chance of it getting enough votes to cut off a filibuster in the Senate. So why expend so much political capital on such a quixotic venture? There's got to be something else going on."

Oh, gee, I don't know, Kevin, maybe, did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, President Bush really wants Social Security reform. Is it possible that the public actually wants reform?

Let us suppose that reform fails due to filibuster by, say, former KKK member and current West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. Did the Democrats not learn a single thing in the 2004 South Dakota Senate race? Good grief, obstructionism was a decisive reason why South Dakotans threw out Tom Daschle, their easy ticket to federal pork, and replaced him with John Thune.

Next, as Adam Doverspike, who has been tracking public opinion on the issue, notes at SocialSecurityChoice.com,

"62-71% of the country thinks there are at least major problems with Social Security. 9% of the country thinks no changes are needed. And 62% of the country believes that either major changes or a total rebuilding is necessary."

Doverspike also points out some encouraging numbers regarding a Washington Post poll with this statement:

"Another idea to help keep the Social Security system funded would let workers put some of their Social Security savings into stocks or bonds if they wanted to. That could produce higher or lower benefits depending on how the investments perform. Would you support or oppose this stock-market option for Social Security?"

In response to the above statement, 71% of those 18-30 agreed, 75% of Republicans agreed, and even 41% of Democrats agreed. The Midwest, home of most of the battleground states where Bush campaigned extensively on personal accounts in Social Security, supported the statement 62% to 34%. College graduates supported reform 61%-38%, while those with "some college" supported reform 57%-41%. Those with a high school education or less supported reform 51%-44%, with 5% still undecided.

Overall, the public agreed with the above statement to the tune of 55%-41%.

Once again, Democrats are "misunderestimating" the President, and totally misreading the political environment to their own detriment.

One wonders if Drum's hubris on this issue is a conscious bit of overcompensation for his party's weakness, much like an athlete talking trash before a game, or if he is really that deluded. For one to think the reactionary, reform-hating Democrats have already won the Social Security debate is mind-boggling. The fight is going to be difficult, to be sure, and it is not a guaranteed win for either side, but the actual battle has not even yet begun.

Right now, the debate is still in Spring Training. Bush's State of the Union address will mark opening day. Campaign season will then begin, all over again.


WILLisms.com will follow the Social Security debate every step of the way, so stay tuned.

Posted by Will Franklin · 29 January 2005 06:30 AM