I got a note today reminding me how many Republican senators, up for reelection in 2006, have records of either supporting or actually voting for Social Security privatization.
Needless to say, in most cases, they're running for cover now, looking for various outs and mealymouthed responses to get them off the hook for taking any position at all -- some good examples include Sens. Burns (R) of Montana and Talent (R) of Missouri. And it applies even more to the some of Republicans running against incumbent Dems or for open seats.
Obviously, this makes sense politically for Democrats. It'll keep a number of these guys politically off-balance and complicate their public connections to the sitting president. Should they be reelected it will also help lock them into a good position, should they come out against privatization on the hustings this year or next.
But accountability and clarity on the big public issues of the day is always good on substance too. No apologies required. And it simply doesn't cut it for anyone on the ballot next year not to have a straightforward position on whether or not they support Social Security.
Small changes in taxes or benefits are one thing. But, do you support Social Security or do you want to replace some or all of it with private accounts? No one should slide through without giving voters a straight-up answer to that question.
If you have examples of this -- cases where someone on the ballot next year (House or Senate) say they have no definite position on this issue, but has previous votes or positions which say otherwise -- I'd appreciate it if you can mention them at the Elections 2006 discussion table
over at TPMCafe. If you haven't visited yet, here's a brief note about how to do it