Quite a strong couple days for the phase-out forces, wasn't it?
The Post and the Times tomorrow both have articles that all but call the president's push for private accounts dead. And while I'm not near ready to go that far, it certainly does look like the more people hear, the less they like it.
The most publicized data point in this regard is the recent USAToday/CNN poll which shows, across a series of related questions, that the president has fallen about ten points on Social Security in the last month. It's not quite free-fall, though it's probably enough to induce a bit of a sensation of weightlessness. But this sounding is in line with other recent polls which have pointed to a similar deterioration.
But with all this bad blood, I think I can see the path to a bipartisan compromise, at least between the White House and the Democrats, if not with the congressional GOP. President Bush wants to keep hitting the hustings in Republican-held districts and pressuring wavering GOP representatives to sign on to Social Security phase-out, hoping that persistence will shift the trendline back in favor of private accounts. And at this point I think the Democratic leadership up on the hill probably agrees that this is a very good thing.