The Magazine

Winning Ugly

From the June 20, 2005 issue: Republicans are doing better than you think.

Jun 20, 2005, Vol. 10, No. 38 • By FRED BARNES
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Social Security reform, however, remains a priority, despite the president's inability to stir public support. His plan is in the same position tax reform was in 1986. It seemed to have no national constituency, but it had the backing of President Reagan and a few Democrats. Tax reform passed, cutting the top rate on individual income to 28 percent. Bush's hopes for overhauling Social Security now depend not on public enthusiasm but on "legislative maneuverings" in Congress, a White House official said.

That is shorthand for persuading a few Democrats to break with their party. Bush hasn't been able to recruit any and neither have Republican leaders. But they faced the same situation earlier, on judicial nominations, and look what happened there.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.