From The Leftcoaster:
"An article in The Washington Post on Sunday suggested that the Republicans were ready to deal on Social Security..."
Ready to Deal. Ready to Deal?
There's a hugely hilarious analogy that's begging to be written about the proposterousness of this statement.*
But I'm worried a future report might read something like this,
"After months of town hall meetings at which Republican members have been chastized by a skeptical public on Social Security reform, and poll after poll has shown weak support for any changes to the program, Republican members of Congress today announced the elements of a compromise plan with moderate Democrats that would permit individuals to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into personal savings account, as President Bush outlined in his state of the union message last February. The plan would also reduce the growth of benefits for new retirees by changing the indexing of the benefit formula from wages to prices, a provision also preferred by the president. The plan is projected to make Social Security solvent into the next century.
Asked about this remarkable turn of events, House and Senate Democrats were apopolectic. 'We just felt we had to give some ground, be willing to compromise to save Social Security. All in all, we're pleased we were able to stave off demands by some more extreme members of Congress to gut the program completely.' Responding to suggestions that Democrats did not gain much from the compromise, given the public mood, Democratic leaders said today that 'we were all aware of what these outside groups (USA Next, Club for Growth) and the talk show circuit can do to our reputations, so we thought it best to do what we could to get a bill passed and not be thought of as being obstructionists.'
Democratic leaders also said today that despite the overhaul of Social Security promised by the bill, that they would continue to fight President Bush and Congressional Republicans on matters important to working Americans and to stand up for the interests of the poor."
I mean, can you just see this?
*I'm thinking of that scene from My Cousin Vinny where the stuttering defense attorney is questioning the witness about what he saw, and then remembering that the witness wore glasses, asks him if he had his glasses on when he saw the youths coming out of the store, and when told he didn't, suddenly smirks until the witness tells him that the glasses are reading glasses. The stuttering defense lawyer responds emphatically, "I have no more questions for this witness." He returns to the defense table and leans back and says, "wooooo, he was a tough one." I'm picturing Congressional Democrats like that stuttering lawyer. The Republicans fall flat on their faces with the town hall meetings and public opinion polls and Democrats still act as if there's something they need to do to bargain with Republicans and thus save them from being humiliated, and allowing a Social Security reform bill to pass anyway.
Let's hope not.