Welcome to another edition of “Crossfire”! Today, two authorities will face off on a question that was asked by bigots in generations past and was answered – for all time, we thought – in 1960. Yet it arose again last year, raised not by bigots but by believers. Can Americans ever again elect a Roman Catholic as president with assurance that our president will not govern by taking dictation from the pope?
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a wealthy heart transplant surgeon, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who grew up in a hardscrabble existence in the West, say they are friends. At least, they used to be before the Senate became roiled in parliamentary warfare.
Social Security’s long-term financial problems are serious and getting worse, senators said Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee opened hearings. But they also said sharp divisions over President Bush’s proposed creation of private retirement accounts might rule out a solution in the near future.