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Pig In A Poke: Mitch McConnell Refuses To Admit His Plans For Social Security

In the past, he's made no secret of the fact he wants to eliminate it. Why won't he talk about it now?
Pig In A Poke: Mitch McConnell Refuses To Admit His Plans For Social Security
Image from: sniggie

Steve Benen brings up a very interesting fact: Mitch McConnell doesn't want to discuss what he'll do if reelected -- especially when it comes to Social Security:

With time running out in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell decided to remind the state that he wanted to effectively eliminate the popular and effective Social Security system. Indeed, it’s been part of McConnell’s governing vision for many, many years.

When local reporter Joe Sonka asked McConnell whether voters should expect the senator to push Social Security privatization after the midterms, McConnell replied, “I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance.” Wait, he’s not?

I’m starting to think Republicans have collectively forgotten the point of a political campaign. Last week, Scott Brown told voters in New Hampshire, “I’m not going to talk about whether we’re going to do something in the future.” Around the same time, McConnell said he’ll only announce Senate Republicans’ agenda after the election.

This is a little nutty, even by 2014 standards. Call me old fashioned, but in a democracy, candidates are supposed to tell voters what they’d do if elected. Then, after the election, the winning candidates are supposed to pursue the agenda endorsed by the electorate. When McConnell says “I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance,” he’s getting democracy backwards.

The longtime incumbent is asking voters to give him control of the Senate first, at which point he’ll tell everyone what he intends to do with his power. It’s an odd pitch. Either McConnell still intends to eliminate Social Security, replacing it with private accounts, or he doesn’t. The senator brought this up as an example of his bipartisan outreach, so it’s not unreasonable to ask whether he still intends to pursue an anti-Social Security agenda if McConnell gets a promotion.

This probably isn’t the issue McConnell wanted to deal with in the campaign’s final week, but he opened the door, and shouldn’t be too surprised when others walk through it.


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