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Hullabaloo


Saturday, December 18, 2004

 
What's The Hurry, Junior?

One of my commenters makes the point that the belief that there is a social security crisis will not be easily dismissed and that's probably true. Kevin Drum points out that Democrats, too, have found it useful over the years to say that there was a looming crisis. I suspect that they never imagined that the Republicans would be so audacious as to run up huge deficits and then turn around and lobby for privatization with no intention of paying for transition costs. As we know, this isn't your father's GOP.

So perhaps we need to look at who and how they plan to sell this baby and fashion some specific responses. As far as I can tell it's Codpiece running with a version of their patented "he's got WMD, the sky is falling hurry, hurry, hurry." "The crisis is now!" the president veritably shrieked at his sycophantic little sideshow this week.

During the Clinton health care debacle, one of the most clever things the Republicans did was to connect the dots between the Clinton scandals and the health care plan. By saying that the Clintons had no credibility because of WhitewaterTravelOfficeZoeBaird or whatever, they were able to raise questions about his ability to manage a huge change in the economy. They used doubts about his character to make people nervous about his plan.

Donkey Rising shows some new numbers from the Ipsos-AP poll and the Quinnipiac University poll that show Bush remains in deep doo-doo on the Iraq question.

On Iraq, in the same poll, 48 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq. But among independents, 66 percent disapprove. And in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Bush's approval rating on Iraq is very poor 41/55 but an even worse 37/58 among independents.

In the Ipsos-AP poll, 47 percent believe it is likely that a stable, democratic government will be established in Iraq, compared to 51 percent who don't. But only 36 percent of independents believe a stable government in Iraq is likely.

Finally, the Q-poll finds the worst numbers ever on whether going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the US to do or the wrong thing. Just 42 percent now say we did the right thing, while 52 percent say it was the wrong thing. And independents have an even harsher judgement: they say war with Iraq was the wrong thing to do by 55-37.


We should take a page from the Republicans and start connecting the dots between Iraq and social security. Just as with Iraq, Bush is going to try to ram through this legislation quickly by playing Chicken Little. Democrats should make that observation and remind people that he does not have any credibility when it comes to defining a crisis, (also known as an "imminent threat.")

There are plenty of doubts about Bush out there. We need to make use of them instead of starting over from scratch with every single issue. The public clearly does not support Bush's Iraq policy and national security is his strong suit. He and the republicans have even less credibility on domestic issues.

The minority Republicans were able to convince people that Clinton's "character" problems meant that he could not be trusted with a huge program change in the midst of what people geniunely believed was a crisis at the time. I submit that Democrats have ample ammunition to draw the parallel between Bush's rush to war and Bush's rush to privatize and they can make a case that his judgment is faulty when it comes to defining a future crisis and that he, therefore, cannot be trusted with a huge change in social security.


"But everybody says there's a social security crisis!"

"Yeah, "everybody" said Saddam had WMD, too, and nobody said it louder or more often than President Bush. Let's slow down here and be careful. A lot of people depend on social security and I don't think we need to rush into privatizing that program like he rushed us into invading Iraq."





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