I’m often impressed with the superior marketing skills and “message discipline” of the Republican Party. Repubs just seem to be better at identifying the key words that benefit their side and pounding them relentlessly. Sometimes it’s as obvious as the official title of one of their bills, which is usually spelled out in Section 1 of the bill itself.
Yesterday, for example, you may have read that the House Repubs passed (by a whopping margin) a bill that would extend all of the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. The expiration, or extension, or partial extension is, of course part of the whole “fiscal cliff,” “taxmageddon” drama that may very well decide the 2012 election for many federal offices.
Repubs want to extend all of the tax cuts. Dems want to extend them for the vast majority, but allow them to expire for those with taxable incomes above $250,000. Most of the smart money in Washington says there will be no deal until at least after the election.
Yesterday’s House vote was more puppet theater than substance, or, to put it more kindly, was just a statement by the Repubs, backed by their solid House majority. The bill will not pass the Dem-controlled Senate and will not be signed by the Dem president. But, as long they don’t spend too much time on it, there’s nothing really wrong with the Repubs staging a symbolic vote.
But what cracked me up when I saw the press release announcing that Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen (along with Minnesota’s other three House Repubs)had unsurprisingly voted for the bill, was the official title, as specified in Section 1 of the bill:
Sec. 1. Short title. This section provides the short title for the bill, the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012.”
It passed, by a whopping 256-171, with every House Repub except one voting in favor — and with the two least liberal members of Minnesota’s Dems, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, also voting aye.
Today, the House will vote on the companion bill, promoting broader changes in the tax code that are yet again summarized not so very neutrally in the legal title of the bill:
“The Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012.”