Strategy for the Social Security fight

BTW, Josh Marshall this morning was a must read on the strategy Democrats must adopt to counter the Bush privatization push. His strongest point is that Democrats MUST NOT think they can fight this by arguing sideshow points like Wall Street profits and transition cost plans. As I said earlier, Democrats cannot have this debate with the conservative "intellectuals". They have to have it with Bush and the other guys that really have the power. And they have to have it on its real terms: destroy Social Security or not. We must be categorically deflect the charges of 'scare mongering' that are sure to come and, in a very reasonable and calm voice, tell the American people that Bush does, indeed, want to take away your Social Security. Pretending he's doing otherwise isn't going to somehow blunt the Republicans' plans.

Forgive the (very) bad analogy, but Democrats are basically operating on an appeasement strategy with Republicans today. Now, as then, it doesn't work. Dems have nothing to lose and everything to gain by ending the cycle of appeasement and taking back the ball on the debates we are clear about, like Social Security. The problem with Democrats, after all, isn't so much that they don't know what they think, but that it is qualified and diluted in a hundred little ways so that only people who follow these things for a living can really make them out anymore.

That certainly doesn't mean there is some definitive liberalsim out there yet to be discovered, but it does mean liberals must stop thinking about their mission as "what parts of the ostensible GOP agenda are we comfortable with?" This is a very facile sort of math that always leaves liberals on the losing end. (And, incidentally, oen of the main reasons the DLC gets such a bum rap they don't deserve.)


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