People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Giving Credit Where It's Due

I think the Democrats deserve some praise. Not a lot. But some. They know how to stick together.

While the Republican party is plagued with members, particularly in the United States Senate, who, in order to get some face time on NBC Nightly News, are willing to throw their party leadership to the dogs (read John McCain), the Democrats are always covering one another's backside - so to speak.

Take Howard Dean.

In circumstances involving Republicans saying or doing something stupid or wrong, they resign (Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston), accept a demotion (Trent Lott), or are driven into obscurity (Pete Wilson). More importantly, their party colleagues can be counted on to turn on them and express their outrage in finding out, their utter contempt for, their revulsion in having to witness ... whatever. The particulars are unimportant. Julius Caesar, Cassius, and Brutus had to have been the first Republicans in history.

But the Democrats never assassinate their own. Even when they find their party to be led by a complete whack job who doesn't comprehend the art of discretion or when to shut his yap, they provide strong public support for him.
Durbin Blames "Right Wing"

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate yesterday blamed "the right wing" and elements of the press "in service to it" for repeating Howard Dean's remarks about Republicans and inflating them out of proportion.

"I think we all understand what's happening with you all," said Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, in remarks echoing Hillary Rodham Clinton's blaming a "vast right-wing conspiracy" for her husband's legal-ethical woes.

"The right wing has got the agenda moving. Fox [News Channel] and everybody's got the agenda. It's all about Howard Dean. You've bought into it," Mr. Durbin said.

"You can't let up on it. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves." (link)
This is called Staying on the Offensive. But it is also good politics.

Behind closed doors, the Democrats are trying to figure out how to ease Howard Dean into permanent exile but in public they are showing unwavering support.

The Republican party should take notes. And drive John McCain into exile before he does any more damage.

GOP To Adopt My Plan

I've often suspected that the upper echelons of the Republican party leadership routinely turn to this weblog for guidance. My suspicions are confirmed by the fact that, in looking for a serious and viable solution to the looming Social Security problem, they are going to adopt my recommendation and push for an increase in the age of eligibility in order to close the future gap between money going out to retirees and the money coming in from our tax paying children.

As I stated several months ago, there are only three ways to solve the Social Security problem (to me, GW Bush's "personal savings account" proposal amounts to a drop in the bucket and deflects debate away from solving the problem). The only possible solutions to solving the Social Security dilemma are:

  • Raise the age of eligibility
  • Reduce the benefit paid out to retirees
  • Raise taxes
This related news comes to us today from the Washington Times;
GOP Leaders Weigh Raising Soc. Sec. Age
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Struggling to breathe life into President Bush's call for sweeping Social Security legislation, Senate Republicans are considering raising the retirement age and holding down future benefits for highly paid workers.

Under official projections, the Social Security trust funds would pay out more in benefits than they receive in taxes beginning in 2017 and would become depleted in 2041. After that, payroll taxes would be able to cover only about 72 percent of promised benefits. (link)
After having done exhaustive statistical and actuarial research on the matter, I pegged the adjusted age of eligibility at 71. Maybe 72.

In any case, it's good to see that the Republicans are starting to come around - if ever so slowly. That only leaves the Democratic party and its phalanx of neanderthals to be pushed into making an honest assessment of the issue before it.

The problem is not going away.

Ah, The Irony

Alan Cowell has an article in the New York Times this morning that drips with irony. It's about a "first lady" capitalizing on her husband's fame, popularity, and high office. But it's not about Hillary.
British Press Scolds Mrs. Blair Over a Speech in the U.S.

LONDON, June 9 - When Tony Blair went to Washington to talk with President Bush this week, he dwelt on heady topics - debt and poverty, disease and decline in Africa.

Back home, though, the headlines lingered on other matters, most notably the activities - also in Washington - of his wife, Cherie Blair.

Ostensibly the debate was about one question: Did Mrs. Blair exploit her husband's office by addressing a paying audience at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington on Monday night, one day before her husband met with Mr. Bush? Or was she acting as Cherie Booth, her premarital name, which she uses as a prominent human rights lawyer?

Whatever the answer, the British press has largely made up its mind. "As Cherie Booth, the name she insists on using as a feminist lawyer, she is entitled to a career of her own," the political editor Trevor Kavanagh wrote in The Sun, a tabloid that is generally supportive of Blair. "But without Tony Blair's massive prestige in the U.S., she would have been paid peanuts. That is the essence of the complaints against her: She is cashing in on her husband's name." (link)
I scanned the article for a reference to Hillary Clinton's having glommed onto her husband's success at hoodwinking the electorate in order to fashion a successful career for herself. Does anyone out there really think she was qualified to run for the United States Senate because she wrote a bestseller? Or, for that matter, that she was qualified to write a book about villaging children because she had raised little Chelsea?

Or that Hillary Clinton, er ... Hillary Rodham Clinton, is qualified in any way to be the leader of the free world, the Commander-in-Chief of the mightiest military force on earth, because she has been a superlative Senator?

She is Bill Clinton's wife. That is her one and only claim to fame. She has accomplished nothing as a Senator. She left no mark from her White House years (except the famed scars on the walls from having thrown lamps at her husband for a myriad of reasons including his penchant for physically assaulting women). She is renowned for having been a great lawyer by ... all those who sucked up to her husband and also tried to glom on to his coattails. Hillary Clinton's only success story is in having written a best-selling book that nobody read.

And she is the Democrats' best hope for recapturing the White House in 2008.

I wonder if the folks at the New York Times, when they read articles like this one written by Alan Cowell, laugh hysterically at the irony. Or if they even get it. I wonder.