Much as the Iraq war was preceded by speeches designed to show Hussein in the most threatening light, the Bush economic summit seemed designed to dominate a slow news week with the idea that failing to deal with Social Security now will hurt the national economy.
Now that the strategy is clear, and the process from the same outline, we know what to expect. In the chronology, we're right around the 2003 State of the Union in which Bush rolled out his list of grievances against Saddam. (The 2002 SotU was the "Axis of Evil" speech, which in the playbook is the equivalent to his post-election press conference list of Social Security privatization, tort reform, and tax reform.) Damn. This is like "21". We've been handed the answers ahead of time. If we can't win this one, why the hell are we playing?