Many Republicans and some pundits are starting to point to President Bush’s very public faceplant when he tried to partially phase out Social Security after his reelection in 2004. The analogy is poor for two reasons.
First, what tripped up President Bush was that getting rid of Social Security was deeply unpopular. That was the key fact. A supposed ‘mandate’ couldn’t change that. Bush had also scarcely mentioned the issue during the campaign.
The contrast with President Obama should be clear. Hiking taxes for dollars made over $250,000 a year enjoys near overwhelming public support and it was the centerpiece of the president’s campaign.