Social Security Debate Gets Blow-Out
The WP's Dana Milbank reports on a massive metaphor pile-up on the Hill. It began with House Republicans bringing out a 1935 -- the same year FDR created Social Security -- jalopy to illustrate, well, it's not clear. One representative opined that "I wouldn't be caught dead in a 1935 automobile" meaning, of course, "I want to make sure we have an updated system of Social Security, because that's America's investment vehicle." Hastert dialed back the tone, noting that "We're not looking to trade in Social Security; we want to strengthen it... Like the car, it needs some upkeep." Nevermind that the car's actual owner pointed out that this was, in fact, happening. He rebuilt the engine, "so it keeps up with traffic."
Not content to let real life supply an elegant metaphor, House Democrats tried carjack it. Is seventy years even really that old, Charlie Rangel wondered, saying that "Long before the '35 Ford, we had the United States Constitution...It is not out of date. Sometimes it needs a little amending." Uhm, ok. Put mudflaps on the Bill of Rights, tie gas mileage to means testing! We assume someone broke the meeting up before someone suggested that Bush "Pimp My Ride."
Reached at his office, Robert Byrd said that he didn't trust these horseless carriages and when he was a boy they walked to school.