Stop Fronting

Kristof is rightfully getting slammed for his op-ed arguing Democrats need to spend less time obstructing Bush's efforts to eviscerate Social Security and more time offering responsible plans of their own. As so often happens with these things, Kristof seems to have drawn his column from some collective press mind, as the same daring idea was popping up in pieces all weekend long (although the Post certainly gets the award for silliest literary device in service of the editorial).

But uh, quick question guys -- while you're begging, pleading and imploring the Democrats to become responsible stewards of Social Security checks, could you tell me what George Bush's idea is here? Because -- funny thing -- he won't. In fact, he keeps asking other people to offer ideas. And insofar as all he's doing is searching for proposals to read, there are plenty of liberal policy papers floating around the internet ether, all he's got to do is search.

So guys? I know this is an easy piece to write. I know it makes you sound like calm, world-weary political watchers fed-up by the unceasing partisanship of Washington. But before you start asking one side or the other to take part in the war of ideas currently raging, you might in fact want to check if any ideas really are armed and arrayed for battle or, as in this case, there's a general idea that ideas will soon be going to battle but the driving force behind that concept has studiously refused to explain what he wants to do, preferring instead to let a phony discussion he demands provide cover for his eventual policies which will savage the program.

Now, as calm, world-weary political watchers fed-up by the unceasing partisanship of Washington, I know you wouldn't want that to happen, right? In fact, all your editorials implore liberals to save a liberal program because, from your liberal perspective, they seem the only guys able to do so. And that's great for street cred. But as calm, world-wear political watcchers fed-up by the unceasing partisanship in Washington, you guys know that's not how it works, and you know no proposal by liberals will ever see the ink on the President's pen. So stop fronting.