I’ve been trying to ignore Kevin Drum’s recent posts on Social Security, because I find a lot of his blog useful and informative, and as readers here know, it’s my nature to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, but come on, Kevin, no we don’t fucking need to have a Democratic compromise deal on Social Security. And when Dick Durbin says that we should have a bi-partisan commission, he’s not agreeing with you, he’s trying to kill any hope for a deal.
I’m trying to think of the right metaphor for the Republican Party during their current time of crisis. One of them is a situation where dad (or mom) has been hitting the Jack pretty hard, has the kids locked in the back bedroom and is walking around waving a shotgun. Talking about Social Security is like a hostage negotiator walking into that house and starting a discussion about what color to re-paint the kitchen. It’s just a distraction, one that the insane/drunk person would love to spend hours on, but will lead to no fruitful outcome.
Another good comparison is a kid having a tantrum on the grocery store floor. Stupid parents try to bribe the kid with candy, cookies or toys. Smart parents just ignore the little fucker until he or she calms down. Let’s be smart parents here, and realize that the real embarrassment is that a grown-ass kid would still have a tantrum, not that we aren’t rushing to placate the little shit.
Putting Social Security, or any other popular social program, on the table for some almost certainly stupid and short-sighted “adjustments” (i.e., benefit cuts) is bad policy, dumb politics and ineffective salve for the Republican wound. What’s really going on here is that those poor bastards are going to have to give up their most cherished fantasy, which is that low tax rates lead to cutting the deficit and growing the economy. They’ve been pulling that one out of the shoebox under the bed and wanking to it since Saint Ronnie was in office, so throwing it in the dumpster is really going to hurt. Because they’re feeling tremendous psychic pain at the prospect of throwing out their cum-stained relic, they want Democrats to endure a similar sacrifice. Even if we did, and we shouldn’t, Atrios is right: Republicans would be back for more the next day. The problem is tax rates for the wealthy are too low, the solution is to raise them, and any other discussion is a distraction.