Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Old Switcheroo

The Moose warns the donkey about the elephant's dexterity.

The Bushies often appear to the left as being ideologically inflexible. This is a very conservative Administration when it comes to its slavish devotion to slashing tax rates for the well-off and its use of American power. However, it can also be quite flexible when necessary.

Early in the Administration, W. dropped vouchers in order to get an education bill. The Administration reversed course on tariffs and corporate reform out of political necessity. The Bushies flip-flopped on the Department of Homeland Security and the 9/11 Commission as well. And its opposition to nation-building is a antique relic of the past.

The reason that the Moose is recounting the history of Bushie reversals is that it is distinctly possible that the Administration will change course at some point on social security if there is overwhelming resistance to a "carve-out" on social security. As the Moose's colleague the New Donkey pointed out last month,

"You have to wonder if the purpose, if only the fallback purpose, of the Bush SocSec campaign is to suddenly shift the debate from personal retirement savings accounts financed by payroll taxes to personal general savings accounts stuffed with sheltered upper-crust investment income. If there's any chance of that, Democrats needs to start preparing for it."

It is highly unlikely that Bushies will walk away from this debate with empty hands. The donkey should definitely be saying no to the privatization scheme, but should also be thinking of a Plan B if and when the Bushies reverse course.

If, or when the Administration gives up on the "carve out", the donkey will not want to be cut up by a politically acrobatic President.
-- Posted at 5:01 AM | Link to this post | Email this post