One maddening thing about Democratic congressional strategies - say on this tax cut extension business - is they seem to think they can overturn long-held narratives with something as simple as facts.
It's true - Republicans in the House yesterday voted against extending tax cuts for all families on the first $250,000 of income. They did that, they say, because they will accept nothing less than extension of tax cuts for all income levels. Still, Democrats *pounce*: they voted against tax cuts for the middle class! They voted to raise your taxes! And, surely, they did. But this reality is not going to sink into a public consciousness that for generations has known that Republicans are for all tax cuts all the time. Which party wants to keep taxes low, you ask? Republicans, they will say, regardless of what just happened in the House on a Thursday afternoon in December.
That's frustrating, but it's reality.
Democrats should focus on the one honest truth that is also ingrained in the public's mind: Republicans care more about lowering taxes for rich people than they do anything else in the world. They will sell out the middle class, explode the deficit, and likely trample their own dear mothers in pursuit of this ignoble goal. Even that argument is unlikely to work though, as Republicans sell every effort to stand in their way as the desperate attempt by Democrats to raise taxes, thus exploiting the narrative.
Facts (Obama has lowered taxes for almost every single American), figures (continuing the tax cuts for upper incomes will explode the budget deficit) and earnest efforts to find compromise... none of these things matter.
What's a Democrat to do?