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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Not a Detail Man

TAPPED’s Sam Rosenfeld noted that the President got a tad touchy during yesterday’s rambling press conference when he was questioned about the details and feasibility of his Social Security proposal. “I know what you’re trying to get me to do. You’re trying to get me to answer ‘Why this,’ ‘why that,’ to take positions — don’t bother to ask me.”
Geez, I thought it was Bush who had raised the whole subject, as the touchstone of his second-term domestic agenda and his bold, amazin’ plan to make this an “ownership society.”
But it’s typical of him to get exasperated when he’s asked to address any kind of policy details beyond the talking points he brings to the podium. It reminds me of a great Will Rogers story from World War I. At a time when German U-Boats were regularly sinking Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean, Rogers announced he had a solution: “Let’s just drain the Atlantic.” Asked how he would accomplish this bold stroke, he replied: “That is a detail, and I am not a detail man.”
That’s George W. Bush, all right. But Rogers didn’t fill the Atlantic; Bush has indeed deliberately engineered the fiscal crisis that makes his Social Security proposal so exceptionally dangerous and deceptive.

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