What Republicans Can Learn from Don Rickles
Peter Baker’s news analysis of the tax payment problems of some Obama nominees is deeply strange. The premise is right—the Democrats look bad after a week of withdrawn or stalled nominees who botched their tax forms. All true. But Baker’s sources are talking nonsense.
Roger Hedgecock, a California radio talk show host, on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on CNN: “It came down to a situation where the American public realized the Democrats who always want to raise taxes on people didn’t want to particularly pay the taxes on people.”
Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel talk show: “I guess the reason Democrats want to raise taxes, use class warfare, attack corporations is because they take everyone else’s money and redistribute it. But they themselves don’t pay taxes, so there’s no reason for them to worry about tax increases, right?” [...]
“The challenge for Democrats is that Obama did a good job during the general of convincing voters that his party wasn’t just about raising taxes and spending more money,” said Sara M. Taylor, who was White House political director under President George W. Bush. “Between the stimulus and now the Daschle-Geithner tax problem, all that ground is gone.”
First of all, Sara Taylor has all the credibility of a Nigerian businessman who really really needs your credit card number. Second, apart from the cigarette tax included in the SCHIP bill, Democrats aren’t raising anyone’s taxes, and probably won’t until the economy rebounds, as raising taxes in a recession is the one thing that both conservative and liberal economists realize is a huge blunder. If the point is that Republicans will base a future campaign against a Democratic tax increase by summoning the ghost of Tom Daschle … well, that would probably be weird and ineffective. According to a Rasmussen poll, the take-aways from this week were that most people think Obama’s cabinet is about as ethical/unethical as any previous cabinet, and that a sizable majority of Americans think both parties are full of tax cheats.
If in 2011, Republicans are seriously campaigning against a Democratic tax increase by whining about Tim Geithner, it will be the sign of a deeply unserious party.