A commenter on one of my Social Security posts wonders why I seem so pleased that the "poisoned atmosphere" in Washington is going to make real Social security reform impossible when I am a stated fan of social security reform.
Well I have to admit that as much as I’d like to see Social security fixed, I might prefer to see Bush and his friends in Washington come up empty on this one.
All movements have their peaks and valleys.
The Democrats peaked in the 60s with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and have been in decline ever since.
The Clinton years were more of an exception to that trend than any kind of reversal.
One could argue that the Democrats overreached in the 60s and went much farther than the general public was comfortable with and have been paying the price ever since.
The Republicans also blew it in the 20s when they created a "laissez faire" approach to business and life that resulted in the great depression.
The Republicans had a few moments like the Eisenhower years, but the Republican party was generally the minority party from the 1930s until the election of Richard Nixon in 1968.
That was the beginning of the rise of Republicanism that has marked the last 40 years. The rise was greatly strengthened by the Reagan years and is, in my opnion, reaching its peak in the administration of George W. Bush.
I like patterns and waves. I believe that the pendulum swings back and forth in regular frequencies.
And so, like the 40 year run that the Democrats had, ending with Great Society, the 40 year run that the Republicans have had may end with the overreach of the current Bush administration with its cowboy capitalism and cowboy imperialism.
And I think Social Security reform may well be the straw that breaks the camels back.
At least I hope so.