In the normal political order, the Vice President does the partisan knife-fighting for the President.
Not so with this administration. Biden can't be relied on to avoid silly gaffes. To extend the metaphor above, he shows up to the knife fight with a butter knife, then drops it down his pants.
So BHO does his own over-the-top partisanship. And it's not pretty.
Today he warns that Rs want to "privatize" Social Security, which he predictably says would threaten benefits, putting them in the slippery hands of Wall Street and add trillions to the federal deficit.
That's the kind of wild partisan rhetoric that Republicans have never learned to parry, to the detriment of citizens who are now further along the way toward full clienthood than ever before.
Let's restart the discussion. If we were starting from scratch with a government-mandated pension program, would it be based on defined benefits the way that traditional industrial pensions have been, or on defined contributions, the way that IRAs and 401(k)s are? When we note that the former have become unaffordable for industry as well as government, we have our answer. Moving away from "entitlement" to "empowerment" with privatized investments and insurance to replace the Ponzi scheme of Social Security and Medicare, accompanied by a basic social safety net--therein lies hope for the federal balance sheet, the national savings rate, cost containment in health care, increased national savings, and general prosperity for all.
Ds should be ashamed to continue demagoguing this issue, except that it works for them electorally. They should be ashamed that their President is doing it, except that they've all done it for so long. Rs should be ashamed that they're letting this happen again, unable to offer a response that will make sense to the electorate. The electorate should be ashamed that it is stupid enough to listen to this fear-mongering falsehood yet again.