Congressional Republicans prove that hamhandednss is not just for presidents.
Republican lawmakers, trying to convince a skeptical public about the wisdom of their Social Security proposals, decided yesterday that it was time to roll out a new metaphor.
Their choice: a brown 1935 Ford three-window Coupe, which House GOP leaders ordered driven onto a sidewalk outside the Capitol. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) and a few colleagues stood in front of the antique, built the same year Franklin D. Roosevelt built Social Security, and likened the two.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in a 1935 automobile,” said Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (N.C.), vice chairman of the House Republican Conference’s PR effort on Social Security. “And I want to make sure we have an updated system of Social Security, because that’s America’s investment vehicle.”
But the car’s owner, Henry Dubois, a retired government worker from Virginia, said McHenry’s metaphor was off. “I didn’t like that comment,” he said, opening the hood to reveal a gleaming ’41 Mercury hot-rod engine that was completely rebuilt two years ago. “It’s in very good shape for a 1935,” Dubois said, putting the Coupe’s value at around $20,000. “It’s been improved with an updated engine, so it keeps up with traffic.”
That is indeed a metaphor, though not the intended one. President Bush and his legislative allies want to convince Americans that the Social Security program is outdated and should be replaced in part by personal accounts. But the owners say they like their old clunker just fine and don’t think it needs much more than a new crankshaft.
Here’s what a 1935 Ford Coupe looks like (note, this is not the same car the Republicans used for their photo-op).
I for one would love to have one of those beauties in my garage, what lover of fine automoniles wouldn’t?
Stupid, stupid, stupid.