Thursday, June 16, 2005

GOP Exit Strategy: Social Security phase-out edition

Social Security phase-out is dead and Republicans are looking for political shelter. The good political news is, Bush isn't providing them with any, and (in his usual M.O.) has abandoned his earlier oily paeans to bipartisanship and is now trying to ram through a GOP-only version.

This impasse for the Republicans raises an interesting issue for the Democrats. If the Democrats feel certain that the Senate will under no circumstances pass a phase-out bill, then it might be a good idea for the Democrats to try to bait the GOP's House leadership into bringing the Social Security phase-out issue to a roll-call vote. This would force every House Republican to go on record on this topic, with obvious political benefits for the Democrats. A floor vote on phase-out would force fence-sitting GOPers either to break with the President and the leadership (thus encouraging internecine GOP warfare between the wingnuts and the mere rightwingers) or provide a key issue for Democrats to use against them in the midterm elections.

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