It’s now obvious that the Republican strategy over the next two weeks will be to hammer away at the supposed fringe liberal agenda Speaker Pelosi would force upon America. It’s an amusing narrative, if only because what it ignores – the benefit of divided government – is so painfully obvious. We’re not changing the president in this election, and I don’t even buy the promise of impeachment proceedings. That leaves a Republican president to veto any and every fringe bill that comes from Congress. That assumes the Democrats gain both houses. If not, the “dangers” of a Democratic Congress never arrive on the president’s desk. This fear is overblown.
Not surprisingly, more of this appeared in yesterday’s Opinion Journal. It’s a valiant effort, I suppose, except it ignores the last half-decade and pretends that we don’t remember it. Among many hilarious bits of nonsense:
Second, President Bush will not be able to re-energize his effort for individually owned Social Security accounts, for “preventing the privatization of social security” is in the Democratic National Committee’s “6-Point Plan for 2006.” Democrats don’t trust people to own or invest their own retirement funds–better to let a wise government do that, for as socialist Noam Chomsky says, “putting people in charge of their own assets breaks down the solidarity that comes from doing something together.” And since Congress gets to spend Social Security tax receipts that aren’t needed to pay benefits, letting people invest their payments in their own retirement accounts would be a costly revenue reduction that the new, bigger-spending Congress won’t allow to happen.
Privatizing Social Security is necessary. The longer we wait, the worse the pain when we finally fix it. I get it. But provide me one example of how the current Republican Congress fought for privatization. Show me evidence that President Bush didn’t pack up his reform agenda (saving his political capital for other expenditures?) at the first hint of resistance from the Republican Congress. And, no, quoting Noam Chomsky’s stupidity isn’t proof.
I don’t like the idea of Democrats in power, but I despise the reality of Republicans in power. A few years out of power won’t hurt any more than what we’re suffering now. Maybe I’m wrong, but shouting “they suck more” won’t convince me.