January 26, 2005


Bush Finds a Backer in Moynihan, Who's Not Talking (RICHARD W. STEVENSON, 1/26/05, NY Times)

[M]r. Bush is taking cover under the reputation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the New York Democrat who died nearly two years ago. Mr. Moynihan served as co-chairman of the commission Mr. Bush established in 2001 to recommend ways of establishing personal accounts, a fact the president and his aides mention almost every time they discuss the issue publicly.

"Much of my thinking has been colored by the work of the late Senator Moynihan and other members of the commission, who took a lot of time to take a look at this problem and who came up with some creative suggestions," Mr. Bush said to reporters last month in the Oval Office.

Treasury Secretary John W. Snow began an op-ed article about Social Security in The Wall Street Journal recently by invoking Mr. Moynihan. Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, frequently refers to Mr. Moynihan's leadership of the commission in defending the president's call for personal accounts.

But in implying that Mr. Moynihan was a supporter of his approach to Social Security, Mr. Bush and his team are open to challenge, based on Mr. Moynihan's record and documented indications that he was not totally happy with the commission's work.

Mr. Moynihan made a career of calling attention to various pathologies and systemic problems and then opposing the solutions. Watching him transition effortlessly from fretting over defining deviancy downward to voting against Bill Clinton's impeachment it was obvious he didn't take his own ideas seriously.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2005 8:41 AM

In 2001 Bush used JFK (Kennedy, not Kerry) qoutes supporting tax cuts to get the tax cut passed. This really ticked off the Dems, especially Ted Kennedy. Referencing Moynihan will probably tick them off also, especially Lawrence O'Donnell (produce of West Wing, liberal pundit) who used to be a staffer for Moynihan.

Posted by: AWW at January 26, 2005 12:02 PM