Thursday :: Mar 3, 2005

George W. Custer

by rayman

Lessee here: polls show that the 'Merican people are overwhelmingly hostile to phasing out Social Security, and your Capitol Hill allies are getting weak in the knees, along with other extremities. So what's an embattled, lame-duck-to-be President to do? Full speed ahead!

President Bush plans to intensify his campaign to win public and congressional support for restructuring Social Security, warning that it would be a bad idea to delay action as the Senate Republican leader has suggested and politically unwise for lawmakers to oppose private accounts, White House officials said yesterday.

Despite polls showing support for the plan slipping, Bush is confident he is winning the first phase of the public debate over Social Security and has no plans to significantly alter his strategy for enacting the most dramatic changes ever to the venerable system, said senior White House officials who have talked to Bush. Several congressional Republicans, however, said they do not share Bush's optimism and questioned his strategy for enacting changes this year.

Of course, Bush has deluded himself for years into thinking that Social Security privatization is somehow a "winning" issue. Remember this NY Daily News article from a month ago?
During the 2000 campaign, then-Texas Gov. Bush overruled his horrified political handlers and insisted on pressing for Social Security privatization - particularly when speaking to Florida's millions of geriatric voters.

To this day, Bush adamantly believes the issue was a political plus for him in Florida - a contention considered pollyannaish by many of his closest aides.

Some, in fact, say if he had kept quiet about tinkering with the most sacred of all domestic political cows, Bush would have won the Sunshine State easily, instead of needing the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold his 537-vote victory.

"He still thinks it helped him then," a senior Bush political adviser remembered. "We all still think he's crazy."

Lest Democrats get too complacent, however, the WaPo article offers some revealing hints into a potential compromise:
Snow told reporters that Bush also has not ruled out embracing a plan backed by many Democrats to create government-subsidized personal savings accounts outside the existing system. White House officials are privately telling Republicans that Bush is opposed to the idea but does not want to say so because it would appear he is not willing to compromise.

Sure sounds like he wants to deal in good faith, right Senator "Moe Glieberman"?

rayman :: 6:42 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!