Sunday, May 01, 2005

hey, you got your alternative methodology in my strategery

Reading over transcripts of April 28's news conference, I'm glad I recently watched '1984' again - it helps to brush up on doublespeak before hearing Bush talk about how the American people don't want the president to do what polls say the American people want the president to do. Michael Kinsley's analysis of the conference gives credit where it is due: the president really is promoting some interesting ideas about privatization of Social Security. That those ideas directly conflict with everything else this administration is doing is only a minor detail... the big question is 'why is Bush taking this on?' Extra credit?

As this column has argued to the point of stupefaction, Bush's privatization ideas are a mathematical fraud. There is no way that allowing people to manage part of the money they put into the system can produce a surplus to supplement their benefits or cushion the shock of the necessary cuts. But if privatization is truly voluntary, it can't do much harm. And if that is Bush's price for being out front on a real solution to the real problem, the Democrats should let him have it.

Unless they are complete morons -- always a possibility -- the Democrats could end up in the best of all worlds. They know in their hearts that Social Security has got to change in some unpleasant way. Bush, for whatever reason, is willing to take this on and to take most of the heat. And all he wants in return is the opportunity to try something that will alienate people from the Republican Party for generations to come.

Kinsley is apparently an optimist. If people haven't been alienated by now, they're obviously not paying attention. And if the plan is predicated on the Dems not being morons, we're pretty much fucked. That reminds me: I hereby release the phrase "we are pretty much fucked" into the public domain. I've got the feeling were going to be needing it more and more in the days to come.

"tomorrow? what makes you think there's going to be a tomorrow? There wasn't one today..." - Bill Murray in Groundhog Day