STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE….The other day I mentioned that Republicans don’t seem to have the courage of their convictions when it comes to talking about their signature ideas during an election year. And indeed they don’t:

Some [Republicans] are warning the White House that even talking about Social Security could be politically damaging to vulnerable incumbents and undercut gains the party made among 65-and-older voters by passing the Medicare bill.

“I hope Bush doesn’t utter one word about it,” said Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.). “There may be a few conservatives in our party who support [Social Security reform], but the vast majority ? would say, ‘Please do not talk about it.’ ”

….”They should stop talking about Social Security reform and start talking nonstop about Medicare,” said a senior House Republican aide who has been planning strategy with the White House. “We made it clear to them we don’t like it. We’re not taking it up. Dead as a doornail.”

You know, the Democratic candidates have all been forthright about both their various versions of universal healthcare as well as their proposal that they be funded by rescinding the Bush tax cuts. This is probably political suicide, but at least they’re willing to stand up for what they believe in and let the voters decide.

Republicans, on the other hand, seem to want nothing more than to make sure voters don’t understand what they really stand for. Margaret Thatcher would be proud, wouldn’t she?

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