I'm ashamed! Ashamed, I tell you!
(Actually, just between you and me, I'm a bit ashamed.)
Just yesterday, we added Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) of New Hampshire to the Conscience Caucus even though the line that got him in was merely a claim to oppose "privatization."
How that got past me is a really good question. As we noted yesterday evening, no less a man than the President of the United States seemed to put Bradley in the Caucus. Every paper in New Hampshire from the Union Leader to the Concord Monitor to Foster's Daily Democrat fronted with Bradley's opposition to the president. We even rung up Bradley's spokesperson Stephanie DuBois and asked if his opposition to 'privatization' meant opposition to private accounts.
DuBois told me she'd have to discuss that with the congressman directly and that she'd try to get back to us, though we didn't hear back from her.
With so many red flags, you'd think we wouldn't have fallen for this one like a cub reporter the first day on the job.
But it seems that sometime after we talked to her, DuBois did find out and she gave the word to the Union Leader. And Bradley turns out to be anothe mumbojumbo man cut from the same cloth as Rep. Heather Wilson.
According to this morning's Union Leader ...
Bradley spokesman Stephanie DuBois yesterday said he continues to oppose privatization of Social Security, which he has defined as turning over administration of the system to the private sector. But he would consider personal accounts, which President Bush has been calling for, DuBois said.
In a new written statement, he says ...
Privatization of Social Security means the system is wholly administered through a private entity or corporation as opposed to public administration of the system that occurs today. We need to proceed in a deliberative manner that looks at the different options, which may include personal retirement accounts, that can enable our nation to address the looming problems facing Social Security.
So like so many other playbook gamers, when Bradley says he opposes 'privatization' he is using the word to refer to something that no one has ever proposed, making his statement not only meaningless but nothing more than a transparent attempt to bamboozle his constituents.
Needless to say, Bradley's short stay in the Caucus just came to an abrupt halt.