At their retreat last week, Republicans indicated that they intend to run heavily on the tax reform they got through at the end of last year. It’s good to have something positive on which to run, especially since, at least for the near term, the Progressive-Democratic Party has nothing on which to campaign other than its #NeverTrump and #NothingRepublicanNoWay platform and its standard disparagement of ordinary Americans like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) claim that the tax reform’s aftermath of bonuses and pay raises are just crumbs.
As an aside, it must be good to be as rich as Pelosi, that a $1,000 bonus or an increase in take-home pay of some $2,000 per year is just chump change. President Donald Trump is stinking rich, Vstly more so than Pelosi, and he doesn’t think this added money is trivial. I’m not stinking rich; I’m not even as rich as Pelosi—not by a long shot—those $1,000 matter to me, as do the added $2,000/yr take-home.
Back to my point. Republicans can’t only run on their tax reform, though. They need to add three things to their campaign. The first addresses, preemptively, the fact that the personal income tax rate cuts—that increase in take-home—expire in about eight years. Republicans need to emphasize that the only way that rate cut expiration actually would occur would be if Progressive-Democrats in Congress (especially in the Senate where they can filibuster) block those cuts from being extended or made permanent.
The second thing is to go on the offensive regarding DACA. Most Americans, and it’s pretty much evenly spread across party and independent lines, want the children who were brought by their parents into the US illegally dealt with compassionately and with finality: no more doubt hanging over these folks’ heads. A couple of Republican proposals for achieving this are on offer. The Republicans currently in office need to push heavily and loudly one or the other or both of them this year, even though—even because—it’s an election year. Demonstrate that they’re not the ones too timid to do something major and concrete in an election year.
Republicans also need to hammer on Progressive-Democrat Congressmen constantly saying “No.” Republicans need to be asking loudly, both in their own districts, in their neighboring Progressive-Democrat incumbents’ districts, and in neighboring open districts why Progressive-Democrats so vociferously oppose any plan on offer that takes care of the DACA children—and that does so largely on Progressive-Democrat terms. Or do the Progressive-Democrats see these folks only as a talking point and not as a group of human beings?
It would have been good if President Donald Trump, during his SOTU speech last week, had pointed to the Dreamers (not the same group as DACA, but there’s tremendous overlap) in the gallery as guests of Progressive-Democrat Congressmen and said to them, “I have a proposal put before Congress that addresses your needs, including a path to citizenship. Why are the Democrats so opposed to that?” But that’s water under the bridge, and he still has time to ask that. Often.
The third thing Republicans need to add to their campaign is their plan for the future. What do these guys want to do to make American lives better, and how—concretely, an aspect Republicans never have done well—will those things actually make our lives better?