Arlen loved on the left
Atrios and Josh Marshall are loving this from Arlen Specter (from letter to constituents not available online):
As the baby boomer population ages and enters into retirement, the need for Social Security reform becomes even more apparent. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress in February of 2004 to deal with the country’s escalating budget deficit by cutting benefits for future Social Security retirees. I strongly oppose this approach.
On the issue of privatization, I had some time ago considered an idea to place a relatively small portion of benefits in an investment account, providing that the "security” aspect of Social Security was retained and the investment was under professional management. However, with the severe fluctuations of the stock market, I have since rejected that idea.
Marshall gloats, "As long as [Specter] sticks by what he says in this letter to constituents, he's out of play completely for the president."Marshall calls Democrats who don't categorically reject any change to Social Security proposed by the President the Fainthearted Faction and is urging his readers to mount a letter writing campaign to deter them from cooperating with the President. Conversely, he labels Republicans who might vote against Social Security reform the Conscience Caucus.