The gathering storm
I know you folks hate when I make predictions, but I will make one and suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune for this.
George Bush, around the first of the year, will start another campaign to privatize social security.
What? He can't, that would be insane?
Well, the Ardennes offensive was insane, but it happened.
Because this is Bush's passion and has been since Harvard. He ran on this in 1978. He doesn't understand it as being one of the building blocks of failure for the GOP and an early Democratic victory. No one, not even Lieberman, was going to support this seriously because of the potential disaster which it would have led to.
Bush and Cheney are sending ominous signals that they are going to try and end run the Congress, on Iraq, Iran and on policy generally.
But to do that, they cannot say "we will attack Iran", they need a diversion. And Social Security will be it.
Bush genuinely believes that people would do better investing social security money in the stock market, and the new deputy head of Social Security is a pro-privitization advocate.
What people need to understand is that Bush isn't connected to reality. He sees Indonesian protestors, and it's what happens to men "who make hard decisions." So early in January, he's gonna propose the same failed social security plan which died last year. Despite Max Baucus's warning that it's DOA. Despite the fact that the chairman of the key house committees are bitter opponents of Bush's plan.
Bush will go to his potemkin audiences and hear the cheers of the chosen and then try to push this plan. Because no one in the WH will tell him it's a loser. So he will mount this campaign, for a week or so, get bad press, and then wonder what happened. Meanwhile, they will plan to ignore the Baker finding and come to Congress looking for more troops and money.
So while the media is looking at the Bush social security clown show, the real battle, over Iraq, will be launched.
While Baker will be trying to rescue Bush, Bush will be acting as if nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the social security battle will basically have the effect of an Indian raid on the frontier, pissing off the natives and sending them to arms.
What his people don't realize is that the opposition to this insane plan will morph into opposition to Iraq. Because the tone deafness and parallel to Iraq policy will be clear
posted by Steve @ 11:30:00 AM