OpinionJournal : "...Social Security reform is being proclaimed dead before it has even arrived. There have been no votes in Congress and no opportunity for politicians to stand up and be counted. Until there's an up-or-down vote on whether to reform the system fundamentally, politicians will be free to criticize without fear of paying a political price for it. Once there is a vote, some red-state Democrats will have a reason to support reform.
...that's what happened with welfare reform. Of course, that is what might now give Republicans pause. To get Democrats on board and get a legislative victory, Republicans must also avoid the policy trap that ensnared President Clinton in 1996. Welfare reform has been an unmitigated policy and political success for Republicans, but only because the GOP didn't repudiate its principles to get it. "