Dems Go on Offense. Republicans Bay at the Moon.

The nutjob “fair tax that would eliminate the IRS and impose a 30 percent tax on all retail sales has been introduced to the House before. This Wikipedia page says it’s been introduced “regularly” since 2005, but it’s never made it out of committee. This was true even when Republicans had a big majority in the House. Now it’s in committee again, What’s different is that in years past no one talked about it much. Now Democrats are talking about it, a lot.

“Democrats are seizing on a Republican proposal to impose a national sales tax and abolish the Internal Revenue Service as a cudgel against the GOP, even though the bill has few fans even among Republican lawmakers,” WaPo says. Even the patriarch of tax nutjobbery, Grover Norquist, is calling the fair tax bill a “gift to Democrats.”

Of course, even if the House passed the thing it would die in the Senate and would never be signed by President Biden. It doubt it has any better chance in the House now than it’s had in the past. The point is that the Dems are going on offense for a change. This is a good thing. More of this, please.

Trump’s Facebook and Twitter suspensions have ended. I don’t know if he’s written anything on those platforms yet. If he does, I question whether it will work for him as it has in the past. Charlie Cooke — yeah, I know, it’s Charlie Cooke — has a takedown of Trump on National Review that’s actually worth reading. You will laugh.

There was a point in time at which Trump’s unusual verbal affect and singular nose for underutilized wedge issues gave him a competitive edge. Now? Now, he’s morphing into one of the three witches from Macbeth. To peruse Trump’s account on Truth Social is to meet a cast of characters about whom nobody who lives beyond the Trump Extended Universe could possibly care one whit. … safely ensconced within his own macrocosm, Trump is busy mainlining Edward Lear. Day in, day out, he rambles about the adventures of Coco Chow and the Old Broken Crow; the dastardly Unselect Committee; the (presumably tasty) Stollen Presidential Election; the travails of that famous law-enforcement agency, the Gestopo; Joe Scarborough’s wife “Mike”; and other unusual characters from Coromandel. “Where the early pumpkins blow / In the middle of the woods / Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò / Who STOLLE THE ELECTION / Don’t you know?” …

… Throughout his public career, Trump has resembled nothing so much as a drunken talk-radio caller from Queens, and, on Truth Social, readers get the treat of watching him at the zenith of his rhetorical powers.

Recently Trump declared himself the winner of a golf tournament at his West Palm Beach golf club, even though he hadn’t played the entire tournament. Not that his head was ever screwed on all the way, but I wonder if he’s getting worse.

Now three good people have announced they are running for Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024. These are Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Katie Porter. We need them all in Washington. I understand Feinstein has said she won’t decide about 2024 until 2024. She will be 91 years old in 2024. Someone close to her really needs to tell her to retire.

A letter writer to Talking Points Memo asks people not to throw money at the Senate primary candidates in California too soon. That seat will be won by a Democrat, no matter what. Unlike in 2022, Democrats are defending a lot of Senate seats next year. It’s going to be hard for them to keep the Senate. It doesn’t make sense to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into the California Senate race when those dollars are needed elsewhere.

Debt ceiling updates. Roll Call reports that the House GOP may be wanting to buy themselves more time on the debt ceiling.

House Republicans are mulling an attempt to buy time for further negotiations on federal spending and deficits by passing one or more short-term suspensions of the statutory debt ceiling this summer, including potentially lining up the deadline with the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. …

… Any such short-term measure would likely be “clean” of any strings attached or specific spending cuts, and be designed as a suspension of the borrowing cap, which had been done repeatedly over the past decade until 2021, rather than a dollar increase in the debt limit. That would presumably make it easier for Republicans to swallow voting for it after pledging to only back a debt limit increase if paired with spending cuts.

However, as Steve Benen wrote yesterday, it’s apparent a lot of House Republicans still don’t understand what the debt ceiling is. Several of them recently have made public statements that linked the debt ceiling to government shutdowns. And, of course, shutdowns are what happens when Congress fails to pass budget legislation with the necessary appropriations. The debt ceiling is something else.

Also yesterday, WaPo reported that House GOP leadership is “embarking on an education campaign to make sure their members understand how the debt limit works, the consequences of failing to raise the ceiling, and the difference between a garden-variety government shutdown and a potential debt default.” Good luck with that, peeps.

16 thoughts on “Dems Go on Offense. Republicans Bay at the Moon.

  1. The Donald won the Championship of his own golf course.  It was a 2-day, 36 hole tournament on a Saturday and a Sunday.  Trump was busy on that Saturday expressing his satisfaction with himself at the funeral of which ever one of the Diamond & Silk had died.  So naturally, he played the 1st 18 holes of his tournament two days earlier.  Seems reasonable to me that he would do that and it was only his great skill that provided a score 5 shots better score for the 1st day than any of his competition. {sarcasm}

    Why not discuss the reality that Feinstein is suffering from dementia?  It has been obvious for several years.  I respect what Barbara Lee has done over the years but she is 76 years old.  If she announces, it will be a vanity campaign and not in the best interests of long term Democratic Party control of the senate.  I appreciate that Schiff "owns the cons" but I will take Katie Porter and her White Board every day of the week over him.  I believe in her enough that I have already contributed to her campaign.


    • Why has the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club awarded Trump the literal sticky wicket?  Even pro football team owners must abide by NFL rules.  Green Bay is publicly owned, kind of.  Trump courses are privately owned.  Is that why? 

  2. Yes, of course tRUMP is getting worse!

    How could that fat lump of orange fecal matter get better?

    He's a turd that can never be polished!

    Oh, and good tip about not contributing to the CA Senate race next year.

    I'm kinda torn between Schiff and Porter.

    Barbara Lee is GREAT, and has been for a long time.  But with all due respect, at 76 going on 77 later this summer, she's a bit long in the tooth to run for a Senate seat for the first time.

    But you're right, maha!  No matter who runs, that'll still be a D seat after the '24 election.  And beyond, most likely.

    So save your money, and contribute to someone running in a Red or Purple state.


    • If I lived in cali I would vote for Porter. She's really pretty damn good and I don't think the Senate needs Schiff.


    "Republicans Bay at the Moon"

    Agreed, in a sane country (or even this country 20 years ago), what the GQP has become and are proposing would be a one way ticket to Democratic Majorities in all of government for all time. But today, meh? I guess all we can do is hope they've finally gone too far. Something tells me maybe not just yet!


  4. I think the barometer of prospects for the draconian budget cuts the GOP dreamed of is entirely Biden's willingness to negotiate. Biden is the product of a bygone era of civility and respect. The kooks in the House hope to use that against him and drag Biden to the table. Biden's not going for it despite a fundamental belief in the process of give and take of deal-making. So far, Biden sees the difference between the gun pointed at the temple of the credibility of the US dollar and the horse-trading between two parties where either side can walk from a bad deal.

    The GOP leadership is gonna play the game for many more months, hoping for cracks but so far, Manchin is the only Democrat talking about talks. If the GOP leadership is trying to educate the kamikaze members, they are trying to lay the groundwork for folding when the ante gets too high.

    For the next six months, Trump is under an obligation to post on Truth Social six hours before the same post can go up anywhere else. I guess this dilutes Trump-tweets because the cat is six hours out of the bag and being critiqued to death before it directly hits the main audience. Once Trump can walk away from Truth Social, they say he'll do it (which kills Truth Social, costing Trump millions and dumping Nunes to the unemployment line.) 

    Talking about the "Fair Tax" proposal is a better strategy if it's the first punch of a combination. McCarthy may have promised he'd allow "Fair Tax" a full vote on the floor. The media will (hopefully) treat it like it's a real proposal. When it gets voted down by the GOP, the suggestion by Republican leadership that no one was serious about that HAS to be met with the question, "What IS your serious proposal – with numbers?" 

    I don't think it can be overstated that McCarthy and the terrorists can't submit a written proposal with numbers that the CBO can score. They "solved" the problem (only in their minds) by deciding they'd make Biden continue to offer programs the democrats are willing to sacrifice until the demand(s) built around a ridiculous number are met. And if/when Biden offers up Social Security, the GOP will take it AND shift the outrage of Seniors to Biden. 

    Nobody knows what the reaction of voters will be when Trump is charged with crimes. Plural. In multiple jurisdictions. GA, NY, and DC. I'm convinced all three will happen, putting Trump before juries for completely different crimes. Even if the criminal trials don't start for a year, other civil trials against Trump are on the docket and certain. The DOJ has responded (so far) to Trump disinformation by "leaking" facts to counter Trump lies. If GA and NY followed suit, leaking to respond to Trump tweets, we'd have a steady diet of bad news for Trump for months prior to the trial. (If Trump demands a gag order on prosecutors leaking, the prosecutors will agree, if the gag order is mutual.) If I'm right, the Trump show will completely overwhelm the show the House wants to put on. Hunter who? I digress.

    I'm certain a substantial portion of voters will buy Trump's victimhood routine, hook, line, and sinker. Some other portion will decide Trump's baggage is too heavy and DeSantis is just as hateful and contemptuous of democracy. I don't see either candidate overwhelming the other but DeSantis has the personal charisma of a fish that's been dead three days. Trump knows how to work a crowd. The deciding segment of voters for '24 is already opposed to Trump and DeSantis isn't pretending to pivot to the center. (Overt racism in the ban of African American studies and fascism in book bans plus tightening restrictions on abortion.)

    The question is what coattails the Democratic POTUS will have with Congress in 2024. (After Nixon crashed and burned, those coattails were pretty long.)

    • I don't think it can be overstated that McCarthy and the terrorists can't submit a written proposal with numbers that the CBO can score.

      I agree. They thought they could play a game in which  Democrats work out the numbers and make offers that Republicans could reject until a lot of major domestic programs were dead. 

      • I wish Biden or someone with some weight would just point out that if the GQP wants to impose a 30% sales tax, gut the IRS, FBI, SSI etc, they can certainly do so when they start winning elections? If they control the Senate, House and WH then they will have what they need (by the way they had that 4 years ago and did none of those things). Many in the media seem to think that barely controlling half of the legislative process entitles them to some sort of majority position?

  5. I am blessed to have Katie Porter as my rep, and have sent her plenty of coin over the years (once you're on her list, you get email solicitations almost daily, and yet they're well written and she's doing such a great job that you don't mind).

    That said, I would love to see Senator (or President) Adam Schiff. He's a big picture guy and belongs in a higher office. Porter's heart is in the right place, and you know exactly where she stands, but: she's very mono-focused on oversight, something she really loves, to the point of having OVERSITE license plates on her suburban mini-van. She's a bit too much like an accountant who delights over tiny things and can't see the big picture. Schiff right away starts talking about how our democracy is in peril, and this to me is a thousand times more important than the retail political issues Katie loves.

    What I don't want to see is a bunch of great Democrats fighting each other, burning through buckets of cash, while the GOP sits by, looking for an opening.

  6. Regarding Trump back on FB – my guess is that it's just to get clicks. When the indictments start coming out, TFG will go nuts, post, and maybe drive some traffic they'd otherwise miss.

  7. The sportswriter Rick Riley wrote a book about all of the ways Trump cheated at golf, both on the course and off, and this is definitely not the first time Trump has declared himself the winner of a tournament that he didn't compete in.

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