Here’s your ball, Democrats. Run with it!

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Twitter and news networks lit up over the weekend when Paul Ryan sent out one of the most tone deaf tweets in political history. It was an unforced error that simply shed more light on the absurdity of the tax bill passed and signed into law in December. Similarly, hours after Senator Daines boasted on Twitter that Walmart was handing out bonuses because of his tax bill, Walmart laid off over 10,000 workers and shuttered 63 locations. Oops.

Despite public relation headaches like these, Republicans and their deep pocketed donors are starting to win the messaging battle on the tax bill scam. It shouldn’t be this way. In December, national Democrats were handed a winning (and important) issue to run on, but they’ve generally dropped the ball.

At the end of 2017, the tax bill was polling at just 24%. A huge majority of Americans did not want the tax overhaul shoved down their throats for the benefit of billionaires, millionaires, and huge corporations, but Congress did and Americans were mad.

National Democrats could have pounded on the tax bill for the next year and cultivated electoral energy and success. Instead, national Democrats have been relatively silent and left a vacuum to be filled with Republican talking points. As a result, the narrative around the terrible tax bill is improving. The snake oil is being sold. That’s what happens when one side is disciplined and repetitive in their messaging and the other side is, well, absent.

Remember the ACA? At its lowest, it was polling at 35%, but Republicans hammered on the bill for the better part of a decade and now they control all three branches of Government. Imagine what Washington, D.C. could look like after a few election cycles if national Democrats take a winning issue, like opposition to the horrible tax plan, and focus on addressing the growing wealth and income inequality crises in the nation.

Here’s your ball, Democrats. It’s called “economic justice.” Don’t drop it and you might start winning elections, again. 

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About the author

Bob Funk

Bob Funk is the Communications Director for the Montana AFL-CIO and Director of the Institute for Economic Justice.

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