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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Politics of Privatization

Whenever really skilled political operatives take on issues that seem like sure fire losers, smart analysts take a second look and wonder what the operative might know or hypothesize that the rest of us don’t.

Social Security privatization is one of those beasts. Based on an admittedly limited knowledge of how folks feel about this issue and how they’re likely to react to any changes, it seems unlikely that this will be a plus for Republicans politically, except perhaps in terms of fundraising from the business community (leaving aside for a minute the arguments we could get into about whether privatization is a good idea). But they are still charging ahead. Does Karl Rove know something we don’t?

Maybe this really is a potentially huge hit for the Republicans, as Noam Scheiber suggests: "Social Security privatization is a bigger political loser for Republicans than even Democrats think." It would be nice to be right on this one. Josh Marshall is tracking individual Members pretty closely on how they feel about this issue and the responses they are getting from constituents.