What would we do without the Internet? Or, more specifically, without Josh Marshall, who brings us this gem with excerpts from an LA Times piece collected by an alert reader:
"In a significant shift in his rationale for the accounts, Bush dropped his claim that they would help solve Social Security's fiscal problems — a link he sometimes made during last year's presidential campaign. Instead, he said the individual accounts were desirable because they would be "a better deal," providing workers what he said would be a higher rate of return and "greater security in retirement."
A Bush aide, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, was more explicit, saying that the individual accounts would do nothing to solve the system's long-term financial problems."
And the money quote (or, more accurately, the money panic attack and moment of revelation and clarity):
"Oh, my God," one GOP political strategist said when he learned of the shift in rhetoric. "The White House has made a lot of Republicans walk the plank on this. Now it sounds as if they are sawing off the board."
It just doesn't get any better than seeing Republican hacks suddenly realizing they sacrificed their political careers for Halliburton and the Carlyle Group. Are you starting to see a pattern here? "We invaded Iraq because of ... WMDs. Yeah, that's it. WMDs. No WMDs? OK, then ... they were behind 9/11. No? OK, then ... well, Saddam was a really bad man who gassed his own people. Sorry? We knew all about that? And still wanted to be best buddies? All right, then, he conned the food-for-oil program. That's it. We knew about that, too? Damn ..."
And on it goes.