Readers of this blog might have guessed that at times I get a little dyspeptic at our Commander-in-Chief. Well, here’s his chance to prove me wrong.
Under the leadership of outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will go down in history as one of the best Speakers ever, the Democratic majority has just passed a bill extending the Bush tax cuts only up to the first $250,000 of income. All Americans get a tax cut, but the wealthy do not get the extra, budget-busting tax cut that Dubya gave them.
So will Americans see the benefits of this? No, because Senate Republicans along with such as Steaming Piece of Senator Kent Conrad will probably filibuster it. But at least President Obama can make them pay for it and change the national conversation.
Now, today, Obama should hold a press conference demanding Senate action. Then he should take the show on the road, going to, say Massachusetts, and Maine, and Ohio, demanding that the Republicans allow the Senate to vote on this plan. He’s got the biggest megaphone in the country. He can fill arenas. Now, today, he needs to ask:
Why are the Republicans intent on raising your taxes? Why are they holding your tax cut hostage so that they can reward billionaires?
For the rest of the session, Obama needs to elevate this issue to highest possible pitch. This is an opportunity to damage the Republican brand: Democrats have cut your taxes and the Republicans only care about millionaires. The only reason why the GOP is taking him for a ride here is that they and he assume that if the tax cuts are not extended, the public will blame him, and not them.
The Democrats’ fear is that the public won’t get it; the Republicans’ fear is that they will get it. Obama can change that calculus. That would even be change I can believe in.
Hello? Anybody home?