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Wednesday | July 17, 2002
GOP scared of, well, everything

Josh Marshall has given us lefty political junkies a gift from heaven: an issues analysis (PDF) done for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Not as nice as Rove's PPT presentation, but still nice. In short, Social Security presents the GOP with a big problem. Let me quote some of the report's conclusions/strategic recommendations:

  • Successful implementation of inoculation and response strategy serves only to limit erosion -- not going to get any sort of clear "win".

  • Democrat attempt to label GOP position on Social Security as favoring "privatization" presents serious threat. GOP, Members, and candidates must fight back against this label.

  • Electorate "attention span" on debate about SS is very deep. They will react to all information provided, and won't grow tired or tune out of the debate.

  • AARP is a dangerous adversary in this debate. They have greater credibility than any other entity on this issue and are not viewed as partisan.

  • No effective direct rebuttal to attack on spending Social Security trust funds on other things. Response must refocus on commitment to making sure all Social Security trust funds are spent on Social Security benefits.
This document is a veritable roadmap to GOP weaknesses on social security. As the first bullet point notes, if Republicans do everything right, and faithfully obey the report's recommendations, the best they can hope to do is minimize the damage. Even in their best case scenario, they acknowledge they are taking a hit ("erosion").

Posted July 17, 2002 04:19 PM
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