Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remember Social Security?

Newly unmasked guest blogger TPM Reader DK (David Kurtz) refers to something that confirmed me as a fan of Josh Marshall -- his ownership of the Social Security bamboozle from the get-go and his prescience in how the Dems needed to deal with it. I believe that is was in rallying around the defense of Social Security and beating GWB for the first time, that the Democratic Party re-discovered itself and started on the road to its success in 2006. Here's a tidbit but check out Josh's whole post here.
The logic of the situation dictates coming up with an alternative plan not only to make the differences clear to voters now but to set the issue stage for the 2006 and 2008 elections.
Kurtz writes:

From the Boston Globe:

Democrats made huge gains in the mid term elections for a variety of factors -- an unpopular war in Iraq, congressional scandals, frustration with Bush's style of leadership.

But the victory had its roots in that early and successful battle against Social Security reform, which gave Democrats crucial unity and momentum at a time when many pundits were predicting a permanent Republican majority, according to party strategists and veteran Democratic lawmakers.

Longtime TPM readers might get a chuckle out of seeing what once was a much-debated Democratic strategy deemed risky now portrayed as stroke of brilliance because, of course, you heard that strategy extolled here at TPM very early and very often.

Boston Globe:
Last March, Reid persuaded more than 40 Democratic senators to oppose privatization, assuring Democrats of the number they'd need to sustain a filibuster. Pelosi had fewer procedural tools but no less commitment to the cause. One Pelosi aide recalls her giving the same curt response to several colleagues who asked when the party's Social Security plan would be released: "Never. Does never work for you?"

That strategy, of course, meant that Democrats did not seriously engage the president on the issue, despite the looming fiscal challenges faced by the Social Security system as baby boomers begin to retire.

But in the end, Democrats' blocking efforts were so successful that Bush never even introduced a bill. By campaign season, only Democrats were bringing up Social Security private accounts -- as a weapon to use against Republicans. The campaign-style apparatus that defeated Social Security reform was ready to go on behalf of Democratic candidates.


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