Three Simple Strategies For Discrediting Social Security "Reform":
When the viscous visage of Dick Cheney oozes to the dais at some point today, he will declare Social Security a "crisis" that needs to be "dealt with now," just as the President and Secretary of the Treasury John Snow have already done. There's tons of numbers involved, oh, so many numbers, but, remember, except for words like "trillions," numbers are part of trafficking in nuance or, in the case of the Bush administration, deliberate obfuscation. What we should have learned from the election and from years of Rove-reaming that has resulted in many a sore liberal sphincter is that precise facts don't matter. In fact, the message really doesn't matter. What matters is the messenger.
The President talks endlessly about his political "capital" coming out of the election. This is a chimera, an illusion, a dry drunk's phantom of power, kind of like when someone declares they can fly before leaping off the top of the building, and then all that remains is to wait for him to become a puddle on the sidewalk. When it's over, all you can do is shake your head at the puddle and say, "Yeah, motherfucker, you really had some fuckin' wings, didn't you?"
Too much ground has been ceded already on this issue, to where it's standard for "news" people to talk about Social Security as if "everyone knows" it's in crisis. Fuck, Bob Schieffer said as much in the third Kerry/Bush debate: "We all know that Social Security is running out of money, and it has to be fixed." Now that groups are running ads supporting privatization of Social Security, it's no time to hold back. It's a rhetorical battle, you know.
As ever, the path to defeating Bush and the (increasingly fewer) Republicans who support Bush on this Social Security debacle is simple, straightforward, and expends little credibility or "capital" by those who use it.
1. The Reagan Gambit: Last week, the Rude Pundit talked about Ronald Reagans' Social Security Amendments of 1983 and the necessity of using Reagan against Junior Bush. This is a no-brainer (easy joke: much like Reagan and/or Bush). In fact, why isn't the Reagan action to shore up Social Security through a tax hike a major talking point in every appearance a Democrat makes on this issue? The scumfucks at Progress For America are using FDR in their ad for Social Security "reform" called "Courage." It fades from FDR to Bush. It's a weird, wacky world when the right appropriates Franklin Roosevelt for its purposes, but, hey, stock footage is fair game, so let's get those Gipper ads going.
2. The Fear Monger: Disability benefits come from a separate trust fund from retiree and survivor benefits, which come from the same fund. This means that, while one can at least pay lip service to no effect on disability benefits, there's no way around the fact that survivor benefits would be affected by any scheme that takes money out of the trust fund. Bush is good at sowing fear. Like a preacher trying to get you to accept Jesus by threatening you with eternal damnation, Bush promises you that you're fucked if you don't accept what he says: "By the time today's workers who are in their mid-20s begin to retire, the system will be bankrupt. So if you're 20 years old, in your mid-20s, and you're beginning to work, I want you to think about a Social Security system that will be flat bust, bankrupt" (a statement that, by any standard - factual, rhetorical, sensual - a lie).
Another Progress For America ad features images of Average People Who Are Supposed To Represent You looking pensively at the camera as a throaty voice threatens to take away their Social Security. Throw back at them this one: from reader Celita - "I was a recipient of survivor benefits after my Dad died -- I was 17 at the time. I only received them for one year, but they made all the difference in the world." Or others who survived because of Social Security. Sure, sure, Bush and the Bushettes'll say that they want that kind of thing to continue and you need private savings accounts to save Social Security, but you will force them to prove that they're not trying to dismantle Social Security.
3. The Goat Fucker Strategem: Let's tell the joke again, for those who have joined the brigade of rudeness only recently: A man is sitting at a bar, drinking, and he says to no one in particular, "A man can spend his life building bridges. Do they call him John the Bridge Builder? No. A man can spend his life raising crops. Do they call him John the Farmer? No. But you fuck one goat . . ." Applied to politics and culture, it means this: someone can do something so fucked up wrong that it taints that person for the rest of his or her life, no matter what else that person may do. Oh, the many goatfuckers in our midst: Woody Allen, Bill Clinton, and, of course, George W. Bush. Once you state clearly and unambiguously that Iraq has WMDs and that we're gonna find them, when we don't, then you, sir, have fucked the goat.
There is one easy way to defeat Bush on anything, and that means any fucking thing. You have to keep reminding people that Bush is a goat fucker. Once you've fucked a goat, you've lost all credibility. Easy ad: "George Bush said we would find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In December 2004, the search ended and no weapons were found. George Bush has said there is a crisis in Social Security that can only be solved with privatization. Tell your member of Congress that you can't trust George Bush with your retirement income." And, if this were a perfect world, there'd be a giant image of George Bush fucking the shit out of a goat, its beard flappin' from the fuckin', inside a red circle with a slash through it: no goat fuckers.
Is it unreasonable for someone like, say, Minority Leader Harry Reid (who has one of the great porn star names in the Congress, up there with Orrin Hatch), "Oh, really, that's what you're predicting about Social Security? Hey, remember when you told us about the WMDs and shit, you lying sack of sour jizz? Welcome to the resistance, bitch."