Snark aside, here is something that has always eluded me about politics: how Republicans have managed to run as the party of tax cuts.

(This is prompted by a note in my inbox, courtesy of Michael Steele and the GOP newsletter, which is good for lols and keeping up with what the other side is doing. Anyway, it accuses Obama of egregious tax hikes, and I’m confused.)

I understand the philosophical dispute between big government and small government, federal spending vs. putting money back in the pockets of the people, mmmmhmm. I do. And I love me some New Deal, but I understand that there are you know, plumbers and people named Joe out there who would rather see tax breaks than an expansion of government programs.

Fine.

What I just really, really, really don’t get is how the GOP maneuvered this one. I picture a round-table discussion where these things are divvied up. The Republicans say, “We want ‘Lincoln’s Party'” and the Democrats grit their teeth and think about how the parties have really flipped 180 degrees since then, but, Fine.

Then the Republicans say, “We also want ‘Party of Tax Cuts!'” Somebody on the Democratic side scratches his head and protests that Democrats advocate tax cuts for 95% of the country, as opposed to, say, the wealthiest 5%. Everybody nods uncomfortably–Yeah, I don’t know. I think maybe we’re the party of tax cuts...

This is where I get lost. What happens? Is there a fistfight? Who’s in? I imagine Condie and Karl Rove, and then when I picture Dennis Kucinich, bless his heart, trying to duke it out with either of them, I sort of understand how we got here. “Here” being an administration that cuts taxes for 95% of the country and has to defend itself against “the party of low taxes.” Am I just “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”-ing?

-S

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