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GOP Faithfully Pushed By Social Security

Talking and determining our future is important, but a big part of the Democrats problem is we don't do the nuts and bolts work of organizing as well as the Republicans.

White House allies are launching a market-research project to figure out how to sell the plan in the most comprehensible and appealing way, and Republican marketing and public-relations gurus are building teams of consultants to promote it.

Democrats, scrambling to organize in the face of a multimillion-dollar juggernaut, have yet to settle on any particular counterargument but said they believe Bush's rollout of the idea has been rocky and new details will give them more ammunition.

The campaign will use Bush's campaign-honed techniques of mass repetition, never deviating from the script and using the politics of fear to build support contending that a Social Security financial crisis is imminent when even Republican figures show it is decades away.

With resistance hardening among congressional Republicans, the White House is escalating efforts to get Social Security restructured this year. There will be campaign-style events to win support and precision targeting of districts where lawmakers could face reelection difficulties. As Republicans signaled earlier, they have begun hard-hitting television ads to discredit opponents and prop up the Bush plan.

The same architects of Bush's political victories will be masterminding the new campaign, led by political strategists Karl Rove at the White House and Ken Mehlman at the Republican National Committee.

The DCCC and DSCC should work together to develop their lists of 2006 targeted GOP representatives and senators so that state-by-state campaigns can be planned now. In those districts or states, the two committees should start organizational activities with the local and state parties and with Democratic governors, to build a presence through press conferences and media events that will pressure GOP representatives and senators by calling attention to the false claims on Social Security and the GOP incumbent's past record of support for other Bush deceptions (Iraq and the tax cuts). These activities need to start now in advance of any Bush or Cheney road shows so that our message is local and seeded before Bush or Cheney or the surrogates get to these districts.

Both committees, working with the DNC should make defending and improving Social Security one of the major initiatives of the next two years by expediting the creation of a Truth Squad concept as we proposed almost two years ago here at the Left Coaster. Using a quick response team at each committee and at the DNC, all administration utterances on Social Security would be immediately responded to in the media by the committees and the DNC in the same news cycle.

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