Our best wishes go out to Jamelle Bouie. We hope he has a speedy recovery.
Bouie was a very insightful commentator over at The American Prospect, but he is totally wrong this morning. He wrote an article at the Plum Line, A Small Victory Against Anti-Tax Conservatives. In it, he discussed new legislation to require sales taxes be collected on all internet purchases. It is apparently getting a lot of bipartisan love. Bouie noted, “What Heritage and Norquist want is a Republican Party governed by ideology alone, where no tax is acceptable, no matter what. That they’re losing this fight is a sign Republicans are at least open to bucking anti-tax extremists.”
This is a sure sign that Bouie has caught Washington Pundit’s Disease (WPD). It starts by affecting the memory. In his case, he has forgotten the last two years of American politics. This is so sad!
Bouie may think so, but the Heritage Foundation and Gover Norquist are not really against this sales tax legislation. It is just that they are contractually obligated to oppose all new tax proposals. I can assure Bouie (because I do remember the last two years), that they are not putting much pressure on Republicans to oppose this bill. Remember (which Bouie sadly can no longer do): Republicans are not against new taxes. For the umpteenth time (which sometimes helps WPD victims and sometimes doesn’t): they are against new taxes on the rich. That’s it. They had no problem allowing payroll taxes to go back up. What’s more, a bit more than a year ago, they were fighting an extension of the payroll tax cut (“holiday”).
So this recent move does not, not, not show that the Republicans are moving even just a little on taxes. This is the position they’ve had all along. And Jamelle Bouie used to know that. But apparently he’s entered Stage 2 of WPD where he now feels the compulsion to make nice and pretend that the Republicans are showing signs of being reasonable. It’s sad when anyone gets WPD, but especially when it effects a fine writer in his prime. All we can do is help him remember.
Sympathy cards can be sent to Jamelle Bouie care of The American Prospect, 1710 Rhode Island Ave, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036.