Tom Daschle is gone from the U.S. Senate, but his ghost lingers on in the form of Senator Harry Reid (search) of Nevada.
Reid was Daschle's No. 2 during the halcyon days of filibusters blocking President Bush's judicial nominations. Daschle and Reid were famous for an approach that amounted to "What part of no don't you understand?"
Reid did it over judges and he's doing it again over Social Security (search). But now he's upset because the Republicans are calling him an obstructionist.
Reid says in The New York Rimes on Wednesday that he's going to fight back against an unfair Republican attack.
The attack he's speaking of is an RNC fax that runs 14 pages and lists Reid's statements on Social Security back in 1999 when he was worried about the viability of the system and even said he thought private accounts might be a good idea. Now he says it's a Republican myth that there's a problem with Social Security and private accounts will ruin the best government program ever devised.
You may remember days when even Democrats like Reid were hollering that Social Security needs fixing. Those days are now gone and there is a strong suspicion that just like the Europeans — who can't bring themselves to praise the Israeli-Palestinian talks because it would seem to give Bush credit — Reid now can't admit Social Security needs fixing because that's what President Bush is saying. And no Democrat can be seen agreeing with Bush.
Reid and the other Democrats who argue against the Bush Social Security plan could come up with their own fix — except their fix is to raise taxes and that's not a popular notion at the moment. So instead they say, "A problem with Social Security? What problem?"
Senator Reid may not like being attacked for saying "No," but when your job is to say "No," attacks are to be expected.
That's My Word.
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