« How to Read a Bush Budget -- A Rerun | Main | A New Career in a New Town »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Paul Siegel

I think Thomas's talk is geared to making people think about our tax system. If Congress does not go for private (I call them casino) accounts, the Republicans will try to get their privatization schemes some other way. Probably through a different system of taxation and by giving privae accounts yet another name.

Democrats should not contribute. Let whatever Republicans come up with be purely Republican. Through their underhanded maneuvers, Republicans will get whatever they want into any final bill anyway.


"That's the opposite of my own belief, a distinctly minority viewpoint, which has been that part of the game with Social Security was to force a debate between Republicans holding out limitless visions of universal prosperity and opportunity, and Democrats blocking it in the defense of a stale old boring program. In my view there's plenty to be gained by losing..."

I've found your theory on this very intriguing, but after pondering it for a while, on balance it fails the Occam's Razor test for me. What I think works better as an explanation is this paragraph from Ed Kilgore:

"But the second factor--keeping the debate in Washington as polarized as possible--is also important. There is zero doubt in my mind that Karl Rove thinks an ideologically polarized electorate will always tilt towards the GOP since self-identified conservatives outnumber self-indentified liberals by a three-to-two margin. At any given moment, you can expect Bush to be pushing at least one major initiative that literally makes Democrats crazy with rage. That rage, in turn, will make the actual policy dispute look like nothing more than a partisan food-fight to much of the non-polarized electorate, thus shifting the center of gravity of any given debate sharply to the right. Rove and Bush have pursued this strategy again and again. It's hardly infallible, but it does create a trap for Democrats unless they are smart enough to modulate their anger according to the actual importance of a given issue, and offer positive alternatives instead of just negative opposition."

If Kilgore is right, SS is going badly because the Rove strategy counts on the GOP to remaining united, and that's not happening with this issue. Without a united GOP, the issue can't get partisanly polarized in a way to benefit the right.

The comments to this entry are closed.