From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
The Inauguration

January 20, 2005 8:44 AM

I'm watching the inauguration on TV right now. Most of the people I work with are either in DC, on their way to Sundance, or getting ready for the 6pm festivities at the federal building in Westwood. So I'm here holding down the fort.

Rehnquist is waddling to the stage right now. What's wrong with his voice? Is it just the microphone? There's a weird hiss whenever he's talking (CBS coverage).

What's next for the Dems? I think Mitch Frank nails it:

What should the Democrats be doing now? Proposing ambitious alternatives to the President's agenda, plans that demonstrate the party's principles and vision for the country. Bush has spent weeks sowing the seeds for his Social Security reform plan by telling Americans that the popular entitlement program is on the brink of insolvency and that private investment accounts are the only solution. Democrats have responded by accusing the President of distorting the facts. They may have a point -- economists disagree on whether or not the system is in any real danger. But most voters like Social Security and at the same time feel insecure about its future. The Dems can't just reject Bush's agenda葉hey need to present their own proposal for guaranteeing its long-term survival. If they don't, Bush will frame the debate for the next year.

More from the archive in Bush, Politics.

The Inauguration (01.20.2005)

Next Entry: The Liberal Agenda -- contest (01.20.2005)
Previous Entry: "Iraq is just one campaign." (01.18.2005)

Read the 13 comments.


The Dems can't just reject Bush's agenda葉hey need to present their own proposal for guaranteeing its long-term survival.

I really hope the Democrats present a VIABLE alternative to the Bush plan, but simply stating "There is no crisis" isn't going to cut it. As I see it there is one of two ways to go, the private accounts or simply do away with the "Trust Fund" facade and treat SS like any other program, and make it need based.

Thu Jan 20 2005 9:57 AM


This is where my brain just hurts. Why don't they just do their own studies, bring their own reports, and put some damn truth and options on the table? Why is the game so diluted? Why is everyone sleeping with everyone else? Boxer yesterday should have been given an award for her voice on Rice; man that was hot.

I'm so tired of this two sided inadequate old mans club. Cut the crap, everything has an expense, everything has a bottom line. If any of these fools were to give a presentation in our company we'd look at them like fools. Bring the diligence people!


Thu Jan 20 2005 11:22 AM


Your president scares the s*it out of me. I read in my local paper (Australia) that he plans to "spread liberty and freedom to the darkest corners of the world".

What is his agenda? Has "god" told him to do this? What is it about your country that makes your decision makers think they are the World Police?

Unfortunately we have a Prime Minister who still lives in the 1950's so thinks we have to ask "how high?" when the US says "Jump!".

Mr Bush needs to clean up his own backyard before he starts wandering down the street jumping other people's fences.

Thu Jan 20 2005 2:39 PM


As to the comments on Rehnquist's voice, the man had thyroid surgery recently. Remember? My voice was like that for a couple of weeks after my thyroid surgery. covers the Social Security issue. A good Democratic position to take would be that those in the upper income levels should pay the same percentage of their income as those in the lower levels pay. That would bring it back to our side of the table.

Thu Jan 20 2005 3:40 PM

Jim Gilliam:

wasn't the surgery in october? or did he have another one?

Thu Jan 20 2005 3:58 PM


A good Democratic position to take would be that those in the upper income levels should pay the same percentage of their income as those in the lower levels pay. That would bring it back to our side of the table.

You're kidding, right? I mean, the democrats are a position of weakness with such relative small representation and you want them to go right back to the old playbook? "Tax the rich, give to the poor!" That line has been tried before and it's not going to be a winning one. The President's proposals, while they are complicated, are VERY appealing to a large number of young voters... I don't see how "Tax the rich" is going to get the democrats anywhere... I think they've already made a mistake by coming out against this so hard.

Go back in time and read some of the democratic opinions on this issue of SS back in the late 90's when Bill Clinton was at the helm. They were saying the same thing that Bush is saying now!!! They should have jumped out the gate with their own ideas rather than instictively opposing everything the President says...

Thu Jan 20 2005 5:34 PM

Jim Gilliam:

yeah, no one considers themselves poor...even if they are poor, it's only temporary... so they see no benefit to them of taxing the rich, and giving to the poor.

it's a big problem for democrats. they're so damn condescending.

Thu Jan 20 2005 5:41 PM

Tom from Madison:

I suggest looking at the margin of presidential victory in historical context both in terms of electoral and popular votes. Nixon beat McGovern much more soundly in 1972 and went on to be impeached, resigning in 1974.

The Democrats need a charismatic candidate in 2008. A fresh face like Barack Obama would be good although he is lacking in experience and would probably be better off running later.

Republican likely candidates include Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich. I would give Jeb Bush the best chance of getting the nomination. He lacks the charisma of 'W'. I have to believe his hijinx in delivering the vote in Florida might come to light eventually. At some point people might start caring that the Saudi Royal family is doing business with the Bushes! This is a ridiculous conflict of interest. Everyone forgets the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis; so was Bin Laden.

Speaking of corruption, the unverifiable voting machines and shady practices regarding voter registration in Florida, Ohio and elsewhere need to receive constant attention from the Democrats. It is absolutely ridiculous that the same person can serve as BOTH the campaign chair for Bush and the person responsible for certifying election results.

Democrats' lack of electoral success does NOT mean that Republican policies are working. Unless there is substantial improvement in Iraq, the economy, and health care access, the Republicans will have a lot of explaining to do--and no one to blame. An out of control federal deficit will likely mean rising interest rates which would jeopardize the ownership society.

I'm not ready to tear up the Democratic play book yet. 45 million people without health insurance aren't likely to be drawn to the Republican party. Neither are Black voters in the South. Neither are current Blue state voters. I say keep working at the grass roots level, especially congress races. Re-districting, like what happened in Texas, won't happen again in 2006 and Tom DeLay and Rush Limbaugh might even be indicted!

Thu Jan 20 2005 10:47 PM


Just as a little side note, please have your facts in order before posting - Nixon was never impeached, he resigned in order to avoid the impeachment process. The only president to be impeached in the 20th century was William Jefferson Clinton.

Mon Jan 24 2005 10:00 AM

Tom from Madison:

Nameless one, I'll make you a deal. I'll check my facts better in the future if you'll agree to make more substantive points. Also, you might be taken more seriously if you actually used some kind of name to separate yourself from the other nameless posters.

In case you missed the forest for the trees, Democrats lost the Whitehouse by a landslide in 1972, yet Nixon was forced from office in shame despite his re-election.

The so-called "Bush mandate" of 2004 was small in percentage terms and in electoral vote terms compared to the Nixon victory over McGovern in 1972,

Wed Feb 2 2005 8:06 PM


Nixon won in a landslide and resigned from office to avoid impeachment. Bill Clinton won even though more people voted against him then for him - TWICE. He did face the impeachment process and held onto the presidency to the shame of the nation on a partison vote by the senate. What's your point?

Thu Feb 3 2005 5:55 AM

Tom from Madison:

The point is very simple. Impeachment of Clinton failed to remove him from office. It was a waste of everybody's time.

Clinton's approval remained high even after his impeachment. Nixon was too unpopular to govern and would have been removed from office had he not resigned.

Ultimately the Republican effort to remove Clinton was unsuccessful. The Republicans brought more shame to themselves than they did to Clinton.

Wed Feb 16 2005 2:07 PM


Whats a little thing like the law when you have a 50% approval rating?

Fri Feb 18 2005 6:01 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


Add to My Yahoo!

Last week's soundtrack:

jgilliam's Weekly Artists Chart