June 17, 2005
The Blame Game, Act CCXXXIV
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From the Washington Post:
On Social Security in particular, Bush has called on Democrats to offer their own proposals instead of simply attacking his, but the tactic has largely not worked.The tactic has been a common one, but also always an empty one: the Republicans are the ones with more or less complete power in Congress, and every time Democrats come up with a proposal, it is shot down immediately by Republicans. So the call for Democrats to come up with something is obviously not a call for compromise or a desire to flesh out the possibilities, but rather simply a desire for Republicans to be able to criticize the Democrats for something. And why should the Democrats comply? They have nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing so. No plan of theirs will make it through the Republican Congress, and they'll just be opening themselves up for attack.
One of the downsides to having complete power in Washington is that you have no one to blame but yourself--not that this fact will stop the GOP from trying. This tired, self-serving call for Democratic proposals is simply a vain attempt by Republicans to try to have their cake and eat it, too. But the GOP is working hard to try to turn this against Democrats, and no one should take GOP PR drives lightly; they have succeeded at making the ludicrous popular many times before.
The ludicrous part? That Bush and the GOP are trying to set up the Democrats as being "obstructionist." Um, obstructionist how? What exactly are they blocking? Bush says they're obstructing Social Security, but if Bush had all the GOP on his side, then there would be little the Dems could do aside from filibuster, and there has been no filibuster of any Social Security bill. In fact, there hasn't even been a Social Security bill in Congress, that I know of. So how can the Democrats be obstructing it? By not coming up with their own plan which Bush would immediately reject and then bash Democrats with? Um, yeah, right.