President Bush plans to reactivate his reelection campaign's network of donors and activists to build pressure on lawmakers to allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market, according to Republican strategists.
Reactivate? Has it ever been deactivated?
Here's the Bush '04 campaign Web site. Notice the third item down in the center column: "Plan an Inauguration Party." From that section of the page, you can register an inaugural party you're planning -- giving your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address -- and you can go to party central and locate which of the (as I write this) 31,922 registered inaugural parties is nearest you.
It's understandable that the GOP wanted to keep tabs on Bush parties during the campaign. But, see, the party's still doing it.
(The Kerry campaign Web site, by contrast, has vague statements about ongoing work that needs to be done, but try finding an upcoming event of any kind here -- I couldn't using my zip code, whereas I could find two nearby Bush inaugural parties, and I live in one of the bluest zip codes in America.)
I don't think the new reality of what the Bushies are doing has quite dawned on most people, even most political insiders and mavens -- they're turning our entire political life into an ongoing campaign. If that's the case, don't we need a little transparency? Don't we need donor limits and disclosure rules for the campaign to change or not change Social Security, or Medicare, or Iraq policy, or Federalist Society court-packing?
Oh, and all this is happening even though the Republicans seem to be running unopposed:
Democrats, scrambling to organize in the face of a multimillion-dollar juggernaut, have yet to settle on any particular counterargument....
A little more from that Post article:
White House allies are launching a market-research project to figure out how to sell the plan in the most comprehensible and appealing way, and Republican marketing and public-relations gurus are building teams of consultants to promote it, the strategists said.
The campaign will use Bush's campaign-honed techniques of mass repetition, never deviating from the script and using the politics of fear to build support -- contending that a Social Security financial crisis is imminent when even Republican figures show it is decades away....
God, I hate these people.