Jeez, another Republican debate? These might be coming too rapid-fire to be effective, but apparently this was a good one with Romney and Bachmann coming on strong, Perry getting bloodied, and the second-tier guys each getting their licks in. Newt Gingrich, again, had one of the good lines of the evening, this time on the topic of scaring seniors with talk of reforming Social Security:
Great line by Newt, Obama scares seniors every day. He made a strong substantive point, which is that why should be have to live in a system where a President can threaten to withhold social security benefits. It goes to the heart of individual autonomy. My wife responded, “Newt for V.P.” I think he’s earning that spot but may also be the comeback kid in this primary season.
How easily Republicans forget that, for all the talk that they want to "destroy" Social Security - and with it America - the only president who has ever come close to refusing to send out checks was the great progressive hope Barack Obama. Obama has actually been threatening the credibility and viability of Social Security from two directions. His threats during the debt ceiling debate to refuse to send out checks was an acknowledgement that the "trust fund" is little more than a lock box full of empty promises. His repeated use of cuts in the payroll tax as his only (grudging) acceptance of tax-cuts-as-stimulus threatens the very funding of the program itself. No Republican would dare to do either of these things without first putting on some aesbestos underwear to protect against the liberal politico-media onslaught, but Obama knows he can get away with it.
These are the times you realize Obama is truly a sinister figure: once ensconced in office, the smiling "pragmatic moderate" of 2008 has become a cruel tyrant, blithely frightening old people about cutting off the lifeline that Democrats have spent decades conditioning people to count on. It's literally a living example of the old Ford line about a government that can give you everything you want, can also take it all away.