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Bush can't keep his GOP ducks in a row on Social Security dismantling plan

Bush doing what he does best — cutting it up with “regular folks” at a town hall meeting in Great Falls, MT. It’s all part of his two-day tour to spout lies about the impact of his proposed Social Security overhaul. (AP/Laura Rauch)

The ducks are not in a row, and they are quacking loudly. Guess these folks on the Hill didn’t get the talking points, or maybe they did. They know Chimpy’s plan is bullsh*t that cannot be papered over with the usual Bush Big WhopperTM lies. (AP):

Congressional Republicans are expressing doubt that President Bush’s plan for personal accounts in Social Security can win approval, saying lawmakers fear the political consequences of voting major change to the popular retirement program. Some suggested that Bush jettison the central feature of his plan, which is to let younger workers divert part of their Social Security payroll taxes to private retirement accounts.

“Politically speaking, right now it’s probably not doable,” Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said Thursday, citing lack of Democratic support. “We should take this year to study the issue and come up with solutions,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She said there was no consensus for action now and that she had not made up her own mind.

Domenici, Collins and Snowe better watch out — they’re going to get Freeped; member of the “family” Mark Foley of FL says his colleagues are “panic-stricken” over having to sell Bush’s plan.

Her Maine colleague, Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, has said outright that she opposes diverting the program’s taxes to pay for personal accounts. Snowe serves on the Senate Finance Committee that would handle any Social Security legislation, making the task before Republicans more daunting.

Not a single Senate Democrat has endorsed Bush’s proposal. That stands in stark contrast to legislation cutting taxes, setting new standards in education and adding prescription drugs to Medicare. In each of these cases, the president had at least one prominent Democrat on board early. Under Senate rules, supporters would need 60 votes for their plan if Democrats try to block it. That means proponents would have to persuade at least a few Democrats to join them if the plan is to become law.

…Bush wants to let workers divert up to two-thirds of their Social Security taxes into private accounts that they could invest in stocks and bonds. At the same time, the guaranteed benefit would be cut, though by how much is not clear. Many Democrats favor personal accounts, but want them in addition to benefits paid by Social Security.

Bush’s proposal is also stirring worry in the House, where Republicans have often fallen in behind his programs. “I’ve talked to some of my colleagues and they’re panic-stricken,” said Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who said he welcomes a serious debate over the sweeping changes Bush outlined in his State of the Union address Wednesday.

Sen. Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, acknowledged the dissent over Bush’s plan but said it should diminish as members of Congress learn more. “We have a lot of work to do, not just among the American people, but in our own caucus,” said Santorum, R-Pa.

As I mentioned, the Right and the Freepers will take no prisoners on wavering Repugs.

Actual Freeper Quotes™:

“Pete Domenici is a pansy, IMHO. The other names of those opposed or wavering will surprise nobody.”

“Susan Collins, big surprise. I have become less tolerant as I’ve grown older, and I can no longer listen to someone who has a mealy-mouthed, silly-assed way of speaking. She and Patty Murray are near the top of my list. The fact that they’re both flaming a-holes just seals the deal.”

“We need names of those not supporting or wavering. They are cockroaches and should feel the full wrath of those to whom they are accountable.”

“This issue has obviously become job #1 with the Prez. It’s going to be more difficult than bringing free elections to Iraq. I think these wavering winnies will come around in the end. It’s the lib/dems who are have put on their political suicide vests to sabotage the effort. In fact, didn’t you see Pelosi pull the cord on hers the other night in response to the SOTU? Fortunately, she only took out herself and Harry Reid. Pay no attention to the naysayers on FR – they just hate Bush, are still angry that they can’t get their single-digit candidates elected, and are still holding out for a president with whom they agree with 100% of the time on 100% of the issues. Such are a waste of time as they don’t really want to play – just want to sit on sidelines and criticize.”

This seems like a typical AP article designed to sow seeds of doubt within our party. Something along the lines of “Hey, even Republicans don’t like this idea!” Remember the articles before the election claiming that some GOP House members felt that if GW wasn’t re-elected it would actually be better for the party? It’s total MSM BS.”

“Domenici did the same with the Contract with America. This is a battle that will not be won overnight, but can easily be lost overnight. As far as the RATS and the RINOs are concerned, that overnight was Wednesday night. They’ve already put their fingers in their ears and are chanting, “La la la la.”

“Those who oppose W should not be invited by him to go with him when he visits their state. THAT would get their attention for sure.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding