Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Crazy for a Deal

You can’t compromise on the elimination of something. If there’s a disagreement over whether a legislature should have one house or two, which officer to assign to which ship, whether to order pepperoni or sausage on your pizza, there’s still the fundamental common ground that makes the compromise possible. At least you agree that you should have a legislature, that this ship needs a new officer, that you’re all hungry for pizza. But on the question of Social Security, there is no such common ground. Republicans talk about reforming the program, but that does not change the true goal of their proposals: to eliminate Social Security. So if this is the starting point for the GOP, how can the Dems think of compromising? There is no compromise. Some would claim that both parties want to reform the program and that is the common ground. I would answer that lip service doesn’t count as an actual position. I think it’s pretty clear that if Republicans talked openly about eliminating SS, you could count their approval numbers on two hands. The situation at present is an impasse: one group wants to keep, and, if necessary, reform Social Security, and the other group wants to eliminate it. There is no compromise possible here. Either SS is here to stay or it’s not.

So, with this as the backdrop, it is with absolute incredulity that I hear the 7 dealmakin' Dems want to cut yet another deal (link via Josh Marshall) on Social Security. Let’s put to rest the fact that no deal is even possible given both party’s goals. Don’t the Dems want to win elections? Can’t they read the polls? Can’t they tell when they’re winning? I think some of these guys spend too much time on talk shows. No one is clamoring for a deal. No one is “viewing Dems as blocking needed legislation.” Why? Because by a long shot the American people don’t think we need it. I agree with this assessment that the Dems should realize that the GOP has run into a stone wall on this issue and announce the close of debate on SS. Why would they hand the Republicans a victory on this? Don’t they realize that any progress on the Republican agenda on SS not only moves it closer to being gone, but legitimizes their position and makes it even easier for them to take the next step. It makes no sense. I can only hope that this is all just speculation. Like a Cubs trade rumor.

The most valuable thing that the Dems can do at the present moment is to say loudly, at every opportunity, that the GOP wants to take away grandma’s benefits. If the Goopers cry foul, say it again. When they try to explain that elimination isn’t their goal, just reform, say it once again, only this time say it into a megaphone. The Republicans should be running scared on this issue, yet the dealmakin’ dems seem to want to be nice. And they wonder why they lost the majority in both houses.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful post.

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for a blog like this one for a long time.

Jeff said...

Such wit!

stuart said...

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Melissa said...

Pound for pound, this could be the best new blog on the block.

Terry said...

This is exactly what I was looking for in a blog. Now that I've found it, I'll hang on tight and never never never let go.

Damian said...

Why do you hate America?

Julie said...

You are a total idiot and your blog sucks.

Jeff said...

I beg to differ, Julie. This is a great blog.

Rebecca said...

I've read this post thrice and it gets better each time!

Stambar said...

Why dost thou detest the United States?

This blog is based on a true story.