And not a minute too soon. I hate the months when there is no election on the immediate horizon.
Dick Morris, the maestro of the tactical, has this analysis of how Bush’s tax cut package is ingeniously packaged to raise maximum election day Hell with the Donks. Woo hoo. It makes perfect sense to me:
[The] deal -with the Democrats and moderates in his own party – looks like typical legislative compromise, but is actually a move of incredible political acumen: The “sunset” provision, under which the tax cut automatically lapses unless expressly extended by new legislation, makes taxes a front-and-center issue of the 2004 election.
Now Bush can send refund checks of $400 for each child to 25 million households this summer, slash the tax on dividends and capital gains to 15 percent and reduce tax rates on all three brackets – all effective immediately – and still be able to base his re-election campaign on the need to preserve his tax cuts.
The president can run for re-election with an economy stimulated by his tax cuts and still have the issue to use in the ’04 contest.
With the tax cuts slated to expire in the opening years of the next presidential term, every Democratic candidate will have to answer the question: “Will you support extending the Bush tax cut?”
A “no” will be required to win enough primary votes to get the nomination. But a “yes” will be necessary to prevail in the general election. Bush has put the Democrats in an impossible position.
Dude. I am liking this. It sounds good.
On a related point, the Washington Post notes today that Bush Fills Key Slots With Young Loyalists. It then quotes some “veteran of White House meetings” as saying: “These new folks are going to pull their punches at first. They don’t have the gravitas.” Whatever. They’ll get “gravitas” soon enough, by good and loyal job performance. The point is that Bush is getting a team together of young fire-eaters that can work sixteen hour days up to and through the election. And he is training a next generation of GOP leaders. Also noteworthy, the younger GOPers are more ideologically conservative. They are more hardcore.
Bush’s 2004 election campaign is going to be a sight to behold. I am hoping for a crushing win. Early signs bode well.