KEEPING THE BOOT ON THE NECK. This Hill piece about the heat Democrats are bringing down on vulnerable House GOP incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick on the subject of Social Security privatization makes for highly encouraging reading. For a while there has been a real worry that Democrats' fierce and devastating victory in the Social Security fight last year was turning out to have been a catastrophic success -- too much of a victory, too soon, for it to be a live issue to campaign on in the fall of 2006. Democrats seemed to have been satisfied with their substantive defeat of actual legislation and weirdly inclined to move on to other issues once that fight had been won. Obviously, though, there's a paper trail of statements and an endless stream of damning associations Democrats can deploy to corner vulnerable Republicans on Social Security this election while drawing stark distinctions between the parties.

--Sam Rosenfeld