Great Stuff in TPM on the stakes involved with the Social Security debate. The most interesting point - the stakes are gigantic for both the White House and democrat's in general. Republicans in Congress, however:
They've got a good thing going -- seemingly durable majorities, K Street disciplined and incorporated into the DeLay Machine. Sure, many Republicans, all things being equal, believe in privatization. But if it happens it'll be the president's victory, not theirs. It won't expand their majorities or bring them campaign cash they don't already get. A win on this issue, in the most hardboiled terms, is really pretty much a wash. There's just not much in it for them.
Losing, on the other hand, all comes out of their hide. Though a defeated president might be weakened, he'd still be president. Some of them would be out of a job. Their very majorities could be in danger.
A few years ago the congressional Republicans may have had enough ideological fire to yearn for this fight and run the risk. But no more.
The President is playing for the history books. Tom Delay not so much. It's been noted in many places that the Congressional Republicans are in desperate need some Dems to sign on for political cover. Cutting SS could really hurt come 2006. That's why TPM has be doing such good work on finding out where the Dems stand. Where does your Congresscriter stand?