- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lockbox’ solution

“The public is anxious about President Bush’s reform of Social Security, and the idea is in trouble,” John Fund writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

“Ceaseless pounding by liberals has driven many Republicans into a defensive crouch. It’s time for some political jujitsu that will instead focus the public’s attention on stopping Congress from spending the extra payroll taxes now flowing into Social Security on anything else. The only effective way to prevent that would be to take the money off the table by starting personal Social Security accounts for every American who wanted one,” Mr. Fund said.

“That’s why the White House should embrace an idea that three GOP senators will propose [today]. They want to seize back the moral and political offensive on the issue of personal accounts. By proposing the creation of personal ‘lockboxes’ to ensure that the government can’t raid Social Security taxes for other programs, they would force opponents to cast a vote against the idea that individuals should have ownership and control over some of their own retirement funds.”

Punishing Durbin

“Conservatives (and, one trusts, many liberals) have been appalled by Sen. [Richard J.] Durbin’s comparison last Tuesday, on the Senate floor, between ‘what Americans had done to prisoners in their control’ at Guantanamo and what was done by Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot,” Weekly Standard editor William Kristol writes at www.weeklystandard.com.

“Conservatives (and, one trusts, many liberals) have also been appalled by Sen. Durbin’s non-apology last Friday: ‘I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood.’ In other words, Sen. Durbin apparently still believes there could be a proper use and understanding of an ‘historical parallel’ between American soldiers and Nazis,” Mr. Kristol said.

“So what, if anything, is to be done?”

“When Sen. Trent Lott made a far less damaging, but still deplorable, statement [2[1/2]] years ago, his fellow Republicans insisted he step down as their leader. Shouldn’t Democrats insist that Sen. Durbin step down as their whip, the number two man in their leadership? Shouldn’t conservatives (and liberals) legitimately ask Democrats to hold their leader to account, especially given the precedent of Lott?”

Confronting the doves

“Democrats are now focusing on the Downing Street Memo — the prewar British document that seems to prove Bush administration dishonesty and incompetence in the run-up to the Iraq war,” Ari Melber writes in the New York Post.

“Yet history lessons won’t win back the public’s trust on national security. The Democratic Party has to confront its dovish base,” said Mr. Melber, a former national staff member of the John Kerry Presidential Campaign and a contributor to ‘MoveOn’s 50 Ways to Love Your Country.’

“Most Democrats today are increasingly skeptical of using military force — even against terrorists. No wonder the public thinks the party is weak on national security.

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