I missed this the first time around. Same article as discussed below[here], second page. "Seeking to head off unhappiness among Republicans who want Mr. Bush to take the bolder route, White House officials have been emphasizing the importance of unifying behind whatever plan has the best chance of being signed into law." In other words, the White House doesn't actually give a damn what happens, as long as they can replace Social Security with something else. Anything else. The small matter of the multi-trillion dollar difference between the two plans discussed in the article is trivia. As if they had meant to fight weapons proliferation in North Korea and build democracy in Afghanistan, but then decided that invading Iraq focus grouped better and, hey, it's invasions either way so what's the difference. Or maybe that is what they did.
The key passage in the Wehner Memo (the leaked memo written by Karl Rove's deputy, Peter H. Wehner and reported this evening in various news outlets).
Let me tell you first what our plans are in terms of sequencing and political strategy. We will focus on Social Security immediately in this new year. Our strategy will probably include speeches early this month to establish an important premise: the current system is heading for an iceberg. The notion that younger workers will receive anything like the benefits they have been promised is fiction, unless significant reforms are undertaken. We need to establish in the public mind a key fiscal fact: right now we are on an unsustainable course. That reality needs to be seared into the public consciousness; it is the pre-condition to authentic reform.
Remind you of anything?
For all of you uninitiated, this is how the Repubs work, how they have been working since Newt and his 'Contract for America' in '94. Bullshit on top of bullshit until 51% of America believes it as gospel truth. Saddam's a threat, lawsuits are the reason for high medical malpractice insurance rates, the need for a missile defense system, the prescription drug crisis/plan, and Social Security is 'in crisis'. Ol' Joe Goebbels has got to be smiling in his little corner of Hell.