This isn't the first time the White House has floated the idea of Social Security cuts as part of a 'grand bargain' with Republicans, and it's not the first time there's been a groundswell of opposition. But that opposition has never crystallized so quickly into something deeper and more threatening to the President's political fortunes.
Liberal pundits are turning against him and Democrats on the Hill are taking the fight directly to him. With a new poll confirming that Social Security cuts would alienate the other side's base and independents, this "grand bargain" doesn't look like much of a bargain anymore.
Sen. Bernie Sanders already laid the responsibility for unpopular cuts squarely at the President's feet on a phone call with reporters today: " We thought Social Security was off the table," said Sanders, "but by reopening this issue the White House is not only going to take on these changes, but will open the door to whatever else Republicans want."
In other words: If something bad happens to Social Security, you own it, Mr. President.
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