Monday, December 27, 2010

Former Bush speechwriter and policy advisor has advice for Obama

Michael Gerson, former chief speechwriter and senior policy advisor for President Bush, takes to the pages of The Washington Post to suggest that President Obama take a shot at Social Security reform, but not before providing some excellent examples of the Republican concept of "compromise".  Let's take his introduction point by point.
The main achievements of the lame-duck session of Congress were reminders of what might have been. President Obama gave something to get something. To secure a second stimulus, he accepted Republican economic methods.
...those Republican economic methods primarily consisting of tax cuts which provided "stimulus" in the form of weak net job creation and which helped to turn our $800 million-plus surplus into a $1.2 trillion deficit, the deficit being the thing about which Republicans find it fashionable to panic of late.
To pass the New START treaty, Obama offered assurances to Republican senators on nuclear modernization and missile defense.
...the New START treaty initially being cynically obstructed by Republicans despite "the overwhelming support that the treaty has among both U.S. military leadership and the national security establishment."
Contrast this with health-care reform, imposed in party-line maneuvers that left an aftertaste of ideological radicalism.
 ...the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act having been modeled after the 1993 Senate Republican health plan, the Bipartisan Policy Center plan, and Mitt Romney's Massachusetts plan.
The American political system, it turns out, was not broken - just poorly used for nearly two years. obstructionist Republicans who voted in lockstep against policies they'd previously supported just to undermine President Obama and to try to ensure that he is a one-term president.

The analysis that follows is weak, though admittedly, his prescription isn't quite as severe as I would have expected, but that's faint praise at best.  Read it for yourself, but don't expect much.  After an introduction like that, it's not unreasonable to suspect that any argument about to be made isn't exactly going to be in good faith.

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