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A little sage advice for our 2020 hopefuls.

Hola Democratic contenders! You guys and gals are knocking my socks off out there. You’re in all kinds of weather, all  kinds of diners and town halls, making all kinds of great first impressions. Just a quick couple of shout outs. Senator Klobuchar? I love what you’re doing, and by getting an early start, you’re getting some nice coverage to enhance your name recognition on national coverage. But one little thing. That folksy, down home, shy, smiling, shiv-in-the-back thing is my shtick, and I can’t afford to lose this gig, so knock it off, OK? And Senator Gillibrand? Don’t worry about that little fork-or-fingers thing in South Carolina. It happens to the best of us. One time, in a fancy, high hat restaurant, I dipped my bread stick in the finger bowl, and then, to cover it up, I dipped my fingers into the wasabi after using them to eat my sushi. And if any of those MAGA morons give you a ration of shit about it, just show them that picture of the Great Pumpkin using a plastic knife and fork to eat New York Style pizza about 4 years ago when he had his pizza summit with Caribou Barbie when she was angling for another VP chance.

You’re all out there right now, 20 months before the 2020 election, and 15 months before the convention for the same reason, the early bird gets the worm. You’re all out there, taking your message to the streets, banking that early media coverage, defining yourself now, before the field gets too crowded, and face time on the networks becomes scarce. That’s the ticket, but in watching the coverage, I notice that there’s one message I’m not hearing from anybody, and I think it’s a  golden opportunity being squandered. By all of you.

James Carville nailed it to the wall a generation ago when he drawled out “It’s the economy, stupid!” And he was right, it always comes down to the economy, one way or the other. That was true then, and it’s just as true now. Incumbent Presidents use a good economy as a display of their stewardship, and challengers use a bad economy to hit the incumbent President over the head with. But guess what? Taxes are a part of the economy.

And right now, if there’s one thing that the Republicans don’t want to talk about, it’s taxes. Especially not Trump’s “big, beautiful Christmas present” tax cuts. Any time is not a good time for the GOP to be ta king about taxes, and right now is the worst time of all for them to be hearing anybody talk about taxes, especially you. Because right now it’s tax time.

Trump took sole ownership of, and saddled the GOP with his disastrous tax plan because he’s an idiot, and so are his advisers. They know that Trump can’t count to 20 without taking off his shoes and socks, and he has the attention span of a newt, so they explained why these tax cuts were so good for him. They never bothered to explain how everybody else was going to take it in the shorts, and it didn’t matter anyway. Narcissist that he is, what was good for Trump was good for everybody, case closed. And that’s how he sold it.

Trump and the GOP started running into trouble with their pixie dust tax cuts last March. That’s when they swore that the tax cuts would take full effect after the year end changeover. But nobody was feeling the love. Like all great con men, Trump over promised, and then under delivered. Eddie Munster became an instant meme sensation when he bragged about the woman in his district who wrote to thank him for the $1.50 a week extra she got from her tax cut, because cumulatively it paid for her Costco membership for the year. But while they were shouting to the heavens about that sic-pack-a-paycheck tax deduction, what they were sweeping under the carpet was the thousands of dollars of deductions they eliminated, by doing things like capping home mortgage interest deductions.

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In 2018, all people noticed was that they somehow or other couldn’t afford that Mercedes on their tax cut, because they filed their 2017 taxes under the 2017 deduction schedules. But now it’s 2018. Not only didn’t they get jack extra in their paychecks, but nationally, they’re finding that their 2018 tax refund is coming up an average of 8% short of what they got last year. And some people, who scheduled efficiently and only received a small refund in the past, are now finding that they owe Uncle Sam some money. And they’re pissed. Royally pissed.

This is what every Democratic hopeful on the campaign trail should be hammering like a ten penny nail in every stump speech from now on out. Remind people at every rally how little extra they saw in every paycheck from those tax cuts, and remind them that the lost money from their refunds is going directly into the pockets of the Koch brothers and Robert Mercer. And oh, yeah, right into the pocket of Glorious Bleater too.  There is a long way to go until election day in 2020. Women used their outrage over Trump’s sexist attitude of them from January 21, 2017 all the way up to election day in 2018, the same with the Kavanaugh hearing. People remembered child separation, and the “Muslim ban” long after they died from the headlines. start indelibly tying those piddly ass tax cuts around the necks of Trump and the GOP right now! Plant that seed, water it, and give it plenty of sunlight, so that, down the road, you only have to mention the word “taxes” to bring all of that outrage and resentment bubbling to the surface.

This is important. It’s important because Trump is the master of distraction. And right now, what he most wants to distract from is the miserable failure of his tax cuts. Trump is going to pound the issue of the wall. Because it fires up his base, and because it distracts Democrats from what should be their most effective weapon. Let Trump blather on and on about the wall, that’s a dead horse. You keep on pounding his tax cuts. It will only aggravate those voters already disenchanted with him, assuring their enmity, and don’t forget, a lot of Trump supporters pay taxes too, and their refunds are going to be just as short. Let’s remind them of who pissed in their tax punch bowl.

Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are still sitting around collecting dust, and Amazon is starting to send me nasty e-mails. And what better time to get reacquainted with the roller coaster that was the 2016 election cycle than before the release of the final volume of the trilogy, President Evil III, All the Presidents Fen.

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