So what to make of Mike Huckabee coming out swinging on this issue on Friday and taking Christie and the others to task in no uncertain terms?
“I don’t know why Republicans want to insult Americans by pretending they don’t understand what their Social Security program and Medicare program is,” Huckabee said in response to a question about Christie’s proposal to gradually raise the retirement age and implement a means test.
Huckabee said his response to such proposals is “not just no, it’s you-know-what no.”
“I’m not being just specifically critical of Christie but that’s not a reform,” he said. “That’s not some kind of proposal that Republicans need to embrace because what we are really embracing at that point is we are embracing a government that lied to its people–that took money from its people under one pretense and then took it away at the time when they started wanting to actually get what they have paid for all these years.”
He added that he had no intention of endorsing Paul Ryan’s plan either. This is very unusual for a Republican. They may not want to take that vote for cutting the program, especially since their base is very much among those who benefit from it, but they are never this unequivocal about it. It’s extremely rare for them not to issue any disclaimer about The Deficit and The Government Spending Too Much, etc, etc. To come right out and take the retirement age and means testing off the table — that actually is the “bold” and “authentic” breaking-with-conventional-wisdom for which the beltway media had already Christie all the credit.
Have the progressives finally made some headway on this issue? Lindsey Graham came out against cutting SS too. It's hard to imagine, but if there's actually some open discord on this issue among the right wingers, we may finally turned the tide. They'll never quit, of course. And Wall Street wants that money. But what this does is put a lot more pressure on Democrats to keep their grubby hands off the program. And that's a big relief.