Donald Trump was so excited to finally get a legislative win he inadvertently let slip that Republicans had, in fact, been deceptive (read: lied) about the tax plan. First, Trump conceded the huge corporate tax cut was the most important part of the bill, which Republicans have been selling almost exclusively as middle-class tax relief. Then he boasted that repealing the individual mandate was basically the same as repealing Obamacare, but that he had told Republicans not to mention that bit of actual news to “the fake news media.” Via The Washington Post.
All the post-mortems on Obamacare pointed to the same thing — the danger of passing critical legislation with the support of only one party. But Republicans, knowing the dangers, have made the same bet that the unpopular tax bill will grow more popular. It’s a bet they felt they had to take. Via The Atlantic.
No one knows exactly how much Trump will save by virtue of the tax cut, only that it will be in the millions. Trump, of course, says the law will cost him a fortune, but since he hasn’t revealed his tax forms, it’s hard to fact-check the claim precisely. But the experts say that the expected windfall for a sitting president is clearly unprecedented. Via The Washington Post.
At CNN, Chris Cillizza ranks the 11 over-the-top speeches praising Trump for being a “heck of a leader” in getting the tax bill passed. It was a festival of syncophancy, and the only real surprise was that Mike Pence’s love note to his boss was ranked no higher than No. 2.
Frank Rich: Democrats have every chance to win the spin war on the unpopular tax cuts, but they can’t simply rely on Trump’s constant lies to do the work for them. Calling the bill “Armageddon” won’t help, and neither will calling for Trump’s impeachment. Via New York magazine.
From The National Review, George Will writes that our modern brand of politics has become the survival of the shrillest. Will cites philosopher Eric Hoffer’s great line that “We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.”
How the baby boomers — and not the millennials — have screwed America. They inherited a rich, dynamic country and have done their best to bankrupt it. Via Vox.
The Trump administration says it’s taking names of those countries that vote for a United Nations resolution condemning the U.S. plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — and threatening to cut off aid to the offenders. It sounds a lot like drawing a line in the sand. Via The New York Times.
The passage of the tax bill is further evidence that Mitch McConnell may be the most effective legislator of his generation. Maybe no one likes him — not even most Republicans — but even though Republicans lost on Obamacare, McConnell wasn’t distracted by Trump’s wall or threats of a potential shutdowns or anything but getting the tax bill through Congress. If there is a shutdown, though, there may have to be a major reevaluation. Via The New Yorker.
Bill Scher argues in Politico that Democrats don’t need inspiration or revolution to beat Donald Trump in 2020. All they need is a bland and boring generic Democrat, like, say newly elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones.