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January 19, 2005

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Dems Resist White House Call For Bipartisanship

Dems Resist White House Call For Bipartisanship
January 19, 2005

WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Ever since he was reelected in November, President Bush has been talking about reaching across the aisle to enlist Democrats to take on big issues. But Democrats appear to be more determined than ever to oppose the Republican chief executive who claims to have a mandate going into his second term.

The Washington Post recently reported that Democrats were "organizing for a year of confrontation and resistance, aimed at blocking the president's major initiatives." The most important of those is Social Security reform. Democrats are digging in their heels on the issue, denying that the retirement program is in trouble.

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "Here's a crisis that doesn't exist ... we have no crisis. For the next 50 years, people on Social Security, if we do nothing, will draw a hundred percent of their benefits. Even after the 50 years, if we decide to do nothing, congressionally they can still draw 80% of their benefits. That's not a crisis."

Reid went on to list other problems that he considered to be more pressing, saying, "But we have so many real crisis in America today, real crisis, 45 million Americans have no health care. Is that a crisis? I think so. Our public education system is teetering on the brink of real despair as a result of leave no child behind act not being taken care of. Those are two crises that I see. Let's take care of those, let's take care of the staggering debt we have, that is a crisis. Social Security is not a crisis."

Reid was emphatic about the Democrats' position, saying, "We're not going to be part of a scheme to destroy the most successful social program in the history of the world, Social Security."

Democratic opposition to any changes to Social Security has produced a turnaround in the media's presentation of the issue.

Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson recently wrote about Bush, "To attain goals that he has set for himself before he took office -- the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the privatization of Social Security -- he concocted crises where there were none."

But in 1998, when President Bill Clinton was talking about the importance of "saving Social Security first," another Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote about the "financial crisis" being faced by Medicare and Social Security.

The debate so far has been sidetracked by semantics.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told Talon News, "We can debate the word 'crisis,' but the reality is Social Security faces fundamental structural problems. And they only get worse over time."

Reid also indicated that his leadership of the smaller, but still filibuster-capable, Senate minority would be every bit as contentious as that of his deposed predecessor, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD). Voters fired the South Dakota Democrat in November and believed he was responsible for obstruction of the Bush agenda while presiding over the caucus.

Reid said that Bush should approach the minority with some degree of "humility" if he wanted to get them to cooperate. But he suggested that Bush had gotten off on the wrong foot by renominating 10 judges that Democrats filibustered during the last session.

Despite Reid's recalcitrance, the White House said that it still expects Democrats to get on board with the President's major policy initiatives. McClellan pointed out that Bush had accomplished many big things during his first term with bipartisan support, including tax cuts, the No Child Left Behind Act and a prescription drug benefit for Medicare.

McClellan intimated that Bush would be talking about the importance of coming together to work on big things in his inaugural address. He said that the president would focus on the obligation to lead in confronting challenges now -- instead of passing them to future generations.

Last week, McClellan claimed that the 2004 election provided a mandate to move forward with Social Security reform, saying, "Both candidates presented their views on the issue. One candidate was saying that there's not a problem, ... the other candidate (Bush) said, this is a growing problem ... we need to act now. And he won, running on that position."

McClellan told Talon News, "Now, the president wants to work closely with members of Congress to move forward on that agenda. It would be very unfortunate if there are Democratic leaders who simply want to block and obstruct the agenda."

President Bush warned those Democrats during a conference on Social Security, "I happen to believe people who have been elected to office who ignore problems will face the price at the ballot box."
Reaching across party lines for Bush is already OVER almost before it has begun.
The Liberals have proven thier incompetance, and unwillingness to reach across to our President no matter what he does.
Someday the Liberals are going to want a bill passed in the next 4 years, Senator Kerry bitched that "President Bush hasnt Veto'd 1 bill that has been sent to his desk" (Said on Kerry's losing campain bid for the White House in one of his boring speeches to the American public)
Well look out Kerry, and Boxer, you may get what you asked for.
President Bush WILL use his VETO power on anything the Liberals want passed in the next 4 years due to the lack of respect, and common decency you have been showing his nominees.
You guys want harball from our President? You got it.
It's VETO time for you Liberal Jackasses.


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