February 2, 2005

Boehlert backpedals on Social Security

Tracking Representative Sherwood Boehlert's positions is getting more interesting, but fortunately Josh Marshall is helping keep track. Last week he was talking about the importance of moderate Republicans while facing a new challenger, and a couple of weeks ago he was pretty unequivocal about his doubts about the President's Social Security proposals:

I am very, very skeptical of the so-called plans to privatize. And I think a disservice is being done to a great many Americans by sort of sounding the alarm that everything’s going to hell in a hand basket and we’re going to be broke by 2018. That simply is not so.

This week, perhaps thanks to the challenge he's getting from the right of his own party, Boehlert's changed his tune. As Marshall notes, Boehlert talked with the Poughkeepsie Journal, and while they don't provide a direct quote, it sure doesn't sound like the same Congressman speaking:

Boehlert said he needs to hear more details before deciding whether to support the plan. But he praised Bush for trying to tackle the politically difficult issue.

I guess it's time to write the Congressman again to try to get a straight answer, though I never did get an answer to my prior letter about the transportation bill. (Update: One of Boehlert's more conservative colleagues appears to have been punished for that episode.) I'd like to know just how far we can expect his moderation to go, and under what circumstances. I'm sure he's in a difficult position.

Update: I've written Congressman Boehlert a letter, and I'll post any replies I get.

Posted by simon at February 2, 2005 1:38 PM in ,
Note on photos