And who has taken out their shovels and dug along with him? Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and so far even Howard Dean. With or without knowing it, these Democrats have followed Bush's lead on Social Security. When he stopped bringing it up, they did too. And then of course, so have the news networks. But why did Democrats stop? Were they so happy to see the plan go they didn't want to touch it anymore? Did they forget that you don't get the media conversation you want, you get what you ask for?
People have called Social Security Bush's "Stalingrad" in reference to the World War II battle in which the German Army overextended itself - and it is. It really represented the point that Bush's poll numbers plunged consistently under 50%, and perhaps more importantly, when he lost his God-like power over the congressional Republicans.
But history buffs now that Stalingrad was followed by an 'Operation Uranus' - in which the German Army paid for its overextension when they were surrounded, cut off and decimated by the Russians. Although Germany would fight on for years, the tide had turned. Democrats have yet to do this on Social Security. Sure, we benefited from Bush's overextension on the issue, but we didn't go after them -- we backed off and haven't cashed in. The more this issue is out there, the more we win, so get this issue back the heck out there!
Here are some specific actions that could be taken:
- Early in 2006, pepper with more aggressive questioning about what the status is on President Bush's Social Security Plan. We want an up or down vote.
- When no up or down vote is given, insist on a definite assurance from this White House that the plan is dropped.
- Introduce legislation making privatization of Social Security illegal.
- Best action: an effort to expand Social Security (such as Al Gore's 2000 plan) which will surely re-ignite the debate on the high ground for Democrats.