HALPERIN BLASTS OBAMA FOR TELLING THE TRUTH, CRITICIZING GOP…. In his latest Time column, Mark Halperin expresses his deep disappointment in President Obama and Democrats for criticizing Republicans over Social Security. It seems much of the GOP has plans to undermine, if not completely privatize, the program, and leading Dems — get this — hope to tell voters about it.
In a move as predictable as Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, Democrats are using Social Security scare tactics to gain ground before the November election. President Barack Obama is not only tolerating this classic old politics maneuver by his party — he is leading the charge.
Amid a flurry of Democratic Party news releases and press conferences warning voters that Republicans are targeting Social Security for destruction, the President devoted his radio and Internet address last week to commemorating the 75th anniversary of the signing of the law that created the program. He cautioned that “some Republican leaders in Congress don’t seem to have learned any lessons” from the past and are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress.” This familiar refrain might indeed help the Democrats limit their midterm losses, but Obama’s involvement shows that on this issue he is putting party before bipartisanship….
There’s a key detail that Halperin largely overlooks: everything Obama said was true. Every word. The leading GOP lawmaker on the House Budget Committee wants to privatize Social Security, and his idea has been endorsed by a wide variety of Republican officials and candidates. In Nevada, Sharron Angle has called for eliminating Social Security altogether, and her position has not be denounced by party leaders.
One high-profile House Republican recently called for the government to “wean everybody” off Social Security. A day later, another House Republican endorsed Social Security privatization. Two days later, yet another House Republican endorsed Social Security privatization. All of this happened just this year.
So, with an election coming up, leading Democrats believe voters should be aware of GOP priorities. Halperin believes that’s wrong — Dems in general and the president in specific shouldn’t talk about a campaign issue on which Republicans are vulnerable, because it might make them less likely to compromise on the issue later.
In other words, even in a competitive election season, after Dems identify their rival’s key vulnerability, they shouldn’t say anything, even if it’s true. Instead, as Halperin sees it, Democrats should be making an effort to be nicer to the party that’s trying to destroy them, in the hopes that a GOP that’s shown no interest in compromise might suddenly become more amenable to a “bipartisan partnership.”
I don’t understand it, either.