My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Did The President Move The Ball?

Apparently, he did.

In response to the press conference on Thursday, in which the President fleshed out his ideas for Social Security reform, the Washington Post has written its lead editorial in favor of reform.

The conclusion of the Post:

the president has presented ideas that are reasonable enough to serve as the starting point for action. Yes, personal accounts pose risks. But they are also likely, albeit not certain, to enrich the retirement of the majority of workers who opt for them; they should not be dismissed as heresy. Yes, cutting the value of future pensions relative to wages might force some middle-class Americans to save more privately or work a bit longer, but the pain is less than under many other proposals. The Social Security system does need fixing. And the longer Congress ducks it, the more the fix will hurt.

While not whole-heartedly endorsing the President's ideas, it is very telling that the Post not only avoids open hostility to the ideas, but turns to Congress with a great big "Now, what have you got?". In fact, the Post itself titled the editorial "The Challenge To Democrats".

But I can't let this small victory go by without pointing out the duplicitous praise. The lead graf tries awful hard to paint the Democrats as being somehow above the fray:

FOR THE past three months Democrats have declined to engage in a debate over Social Security. President Bush proposed a way of giving workers the option, but not the obligation, of saving some of their Social Security money in personal accounts. While he was crisscrossing the country in an attempt to prepare voters for unsettling change, Democrats offered no proposals of their own, saying that Mr. Bush should first come forward with a plan to plug Social Security's long-term deficit.

The Post never mentions the hostility towards the reform, the every-other-day attempts to paint Social Security as safe and "not in crisis," not to mention the more-than-occassional personal attack on the President. Sure, they've declined to engage in a debate--that hasn't stopped them from taking pot shots at the only person who IS engaged in the debate. This, of course, is pretty common territory for a party that is totally out of energy, direction, or ideas.

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