Social Security: Republican Kryptonite?

As our friends at “The Fix” note today:

The back and forth on the [Social Security] issue in Nevada is a microcosm of what Democrats hope will be a broader debate in races around the country about what to do next on Social Security.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary, which is tomorrow, of Social Security becoming law, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has released a scorecard documenting 13 Republican Senate candidates who have expressed support for some form of privatization of the retirement system…

…Social Security is always a potent political issue but especially so in midterm elections where older voters — to whom this issue is of critical importance — comprise a larger segment of the overall electorate. (Older voters always vote.)

President George W. Bush’s failure to pass a reform of the system played a role — how much of one can be debated — in the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate in 2006 and Democrats are hoping it will mitigate their expected losses in this midterm.

We have long included Social Security as an issue that would come back to bite Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, and it looks like Democrats are planning on playing that angle as much as possible.

While it may have made sense for Buck to go after Social Security while trying to woo Tea Party support for a Republican Primary, it’s not helpful to have statements like these on the record in a General Election:

At a March forum, he drew hearty applause after calling Social Security “horrible, bad policy” and questioning whether the federal government should be involved in administering it.

“I don’t know whether it’s constitutional or not; it is certainly a horrible policy,” Buck said. “The idea that the federal government should be running health care or retirement or any of those programs is fundamentally against what I believe. And that is that the private sector runs programs like that far better.”

The ads write themselves: Vote for Ken Buck, and kiss Social Security goodbye! Anti-government conservatives may think this is great, but swing-voting senior citizens who rely on Social Security for their retirement? Not so much.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RedGreen says:

    Not to mention their voting-age children, and grandchildren, who saw their 401k’s shrink, and don’t want grandpa and grandma to move in with the kids because Ken Buck wants to abolish their horrible Social Security.

  2. Automaticftp says:

    “Get the government out of my Social Security!”

    • gertie97 says:

      A tea partier held such a sign, homemade, at one of their gatherings last summer. He was next to an elderly couple whose sign read, “Get government out of my health care.”

      We have quite a selection of political “minds” in Mesa County.

  3. DevilishlyModerate says:

    For the reasons you listed off Pols (i.e., older voters, previous statements) this could be the pivotal issue for Bennet. The fact that we can point to the Great Recession as a reason why privatizing it is a bad idea is as good as it gets.

    And to your main point, nobody wants to lose their SS checks that they’ve paid into. Even the tea party folks are clinging onto those checks.  

  4. GalapagoLarry says:

    Buck will merely turn a one-eighty just as Sharon Angle has. She spouted some pretty goofy anti-SS stuff all through the early stages of her campaign. Now, however, she seems to like the idea so much she’s for “protecting” it against Harry Reid and the Dems.

    They’re shameless. All those pseudo-conservative, tea-bagger baiting phonies. Buck will have no problem spitting crap out of the other side of his mouth in the general. It comes natural to them. And it’s just as natural for anybody who was going to vote for him to overlook such lack of principle. They’re hard-wired for it.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      Buck was already found calling birthers dumbasses, which is a huge window into what he is really thinking.  

      I am sure he will be happy to ditch them when it becomes expedient.  Buck is also an intelligent man and I have a hard time thinking he actually believes half the stuff he espoused in the primary anyway.


    Why would anyone want to vote for a lameduck incumbent?

    [Don’t Bennet Over”

    Maybe, you should feel the pulse of America, or at least ask a few people what’s keeping them up at night. They are kinda at a historic low, if we drop off the Margin of Error some polls have the current confidence rating at a mere 0%.  See…..

    BTW, best to check you facts, the Dems have already cut deeply into entitlements and social security (counter to their historic support of social issues that matter.)

    or a black & white “rubber stamping” DA?

    [The Buck stopped where?]

    As Stated, Ken Buck sees everything in black & white, so like all Republicans they view “Entitlements” as 2/3 of the budget that needs to be wacked. Expect this.

    1. Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

    2. Cuts to Unemployment Benefits, if even offered at all.

    3. More cuts to the “little guy.”

    Only an “Unaffiliated” fighter with clarity can win this battle, else you are just continuing with Insanity. Btw, both parties are going to do the above, I will fight against that, for all the reasons I put forward.

    For me, I rather fight to STOP the Insanity, Fix the Economic mess and no more Free Rides.

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