Thursday :: Mar 10, 2005

Step Inside the World of Cokie Roberts (If You Dare)

by rayman

Via Josh Marshall, this article by Jon Chait on the ideological dimensions of the Social Security fight contains this eye-opening tidbit:

The consensus among the capital's chattering classes holds that the Social Security debate primarily concerns the program's solvency. Therefore, the questions center around political courage, and the greatest threat is that the parties will not agree on a solution. This consensus is wrong in every particular. In truth, the debate is fundamentally ideological.


To the Washington establishment, the suggestion that conservatives essentially want to do away with Social Security is something close to a lunatic conspiracy theory. When a guest on "Meet the Press" suggested as much, Tim Russert replied incredulously, "So you're suggesting that private personal accounts are a secret plan to get rid of Social Security?"

Are the DC movers 'n' shakers really this thick? For months, it's been blindingly obvious to those of us outside I-495 that the proponents of Social Security privatization see it as nothing more than a poison pill to gut a program they've long hated.

--Remember the resurrected CATO Institute paper from 1983 laying out a "Leninist Strategy" to phase out Social Security?

--Remember Peter Wehner's January 3rd memo stating "For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win -- and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country"?

--And when Stephen Moore, formerly of the Club For Hair Growth declares that "Social Security is the soft underbelly of the welfare state...If you can jab your spear through that, you can undermine the whole welfare state," is there any doubt as to what he's referring to?

You would think that Tim Russert, David Broder, and their ilk would glom onto this dimension during the course of their Georgetown cocktail/dinner soirees. Alas.

rayman :: 3:13 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!