Murc’s law, for the uninitiated, is the widespread assumption that only Democrats have any agency or causal influence over American politics. I can now present the definitive example of the genre:
Yes, not only are Democrats responsible for the passage of a law zero Democrats voted for — a few more BLISTERING speeches and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan would have totally realized that upper-class tax cuts are wrong! — they secretly wanted it to pass. And we know this because if Democrats are talking about the Mueller investigation they by definition cannot be critiquing Republican domestic policy. For example, here’s Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, talking about the Mueller investigation rather than critiquing Republican domestic policy:
Today’s passage of the partisan tax bill officially cements the Republican party as the party of the wealthy and the party of big corporations against the middle-class and the working people of this country. Why? President Trump, his rich fans, cabinet members and donors, and the biggest corporations make out like bandits, while the middle class gets crumbs and tax hikes. Corporations get permanent tax breaks; individual tax breaks expire.
By 2027, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 83 percent of the middle class — almost 145 million American families will either get a tax increase, or see a tax change of less than $100. Meanwhile, according to the Tax Policy Center, the top 1 percent of earners reap 83 percent of the benefits. Let me say that again, middle class: 83 percent get an increase of taxes, or a decrease of less than $100. Top 1 percent: 83 percent of the benefits.
So it’s no surprise when President Trump admitted this morning that the corporate rate was the biggest factor in their plan. Middle- class America is asking. They’re scratching their heads. Why does the top get far more than I do? Why do I get a tax increase, when so many of them get a huge decrease?
This bill doesn’t sit well with the American people right now, and it will not sit well with the American people next year. So when middle-class families see their taxes go up, they’ll know Republicans are to blame. When middle-class families see their health premiums rise, they’ll know Republicans are to blame. And when middle-class families see billions more in stock buybacks and dividends going to wealthy shareholders instead of increased wages or new jobs, they’ll know Republicans are to blame.
So while Republicans will own every nook and cranny of this awful tax bill, Democrats are going to fight like hell to stop Speaker Ryan and the Freedom Caucus from ending Medicare and cutting Medicaid.
Will Dems ever stop talking about Russia? Wait — it gets even better:
Fair — why, to find a Democrat running on tax increases you would have to travel deep into the obscure mists of history to find Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the most neoliberal campaign in the history of neoliberalism.
Look, I can understand that it’s pretty embarrassing at this late date to have spent the campaign that gave us President Trump literally recycling inane bullshit generated by Steve Bannon. Given the amount of damage Trump, Ryan and McConnell are doing and the sheer cruelty of the contemporary Republican Party, it looks really bad to have said that you can “imagine myself voting for Hillary Clinton—but only if David Brock, her nemesis turned promoter, were holding a gun to my head.” But at this point it’s really better to admit that you were wrong than to be made to look considerably more ridiculous.