I'm heading to the Tax March rally in Louisville on April 15
By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360
The veteran Kentucky Democratic activist couldn’t wait to share the good news she’d heard about that Kansas special election for congress.
“A poll has the Democrat behind by just one,” she beamed.
It was a Republican poll, to boot.
This union card-carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat fervently hoped the survey was a harbinger of a historic upset. But far right-wing Republican state treasurer Ron Estes defeated unabashedly liberal Democratic lawyer James Thompson by about seven percentage points. At stake was the seat GOP arch-conservative Mike Pompeo forsook to be President Donald Trump’s CIA director.
Trump swept the district by 27 last Nov. 8; Pompeo cruised by 31. Because Thompson significantly narrowed the gap, predictions are flying that the Republicans will be big-time losers in next year’s mid-term congressional elections.
On his MSNBC show Wednesday night, Lawrence O’Donnell gleefully reported pollster guru Nate Silver’s take on Tuesday’s tally in the Sunflower State: If every other House district voted like the Kansas fourth, the Democrats would pick up 122 seats a year from November and pile up a 316-119 majority.
The activist also cited Silver, adding that that “The Resistance is having an effect.”
The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips wrote that Democrats have “good reason” to be absolutely thrilled about what Thompson’s less-than-landslide “says about their party in the era of Trump.”
Even so, I can’t get beyond guardedly hopeful. “There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip,” are among the wisest words in the English language.
“Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks,” Mark Twain aptly observed. Hence, I don’t bet on elections or ball games.
But it seems to me that a Democratic blowout would depend on at least some significant buyer’s remorse among the Trump faithful.
There’s a #Trumpgrets, where voters can tweet their mea culpas.
I’m hearing—from fellow Democrats—stories of repentant Trumpists in Kentucky, my home state, which went for He of the Tang-hued Mane by a wider margin than Kansas did. But in my neck of the Bluegrass State woods, I’m seeing a lot more fired up fellow Democrats than fed up Republicans.
Trump yard signs still sprout. Trump flags fly, sometimes in company with Confederate banners. Trump stickers cling to car and truck bumpers.
Anyway, the Kansas internal was one more poll that missed the mark. But if another survey is on the money, nearly all Trump voters are still satisfied customers.
A Post Mood of the Nation survey released last month revealed that only 3.5 percent of Trump voters “would do something different” in a do-over election with the same candidate lineup from last year.
The survey indicated “clearly that media attention to the #trumpgrets phenomenon is very misleading,” cautioned pollsters Eric Plutzer and Michael Berkman. “For Trump’s supporters, any news reports that his first weeks as president have been rocky, unpresidential or worse have hardly mattered. There is virtually no regret.”
I am just a Democratic rank-and-filer.
But if I were part of the Democratic National Committee mapping strategy to make a one-termer of the bloviating bigot in the White House, I’d start by assuming that it’s folly to count on wholesale Republican desertions, at least for now.
“While his governance has galvanized opposition groups and his overall approval level remains low by historical standards, his electoral base is not only intact but enthusiastic and energized, providing Trump with a significant base of power,” the Mood of the Nation pollsters also warned.
“Those who fail to recognize this may find themselves underestimating his capabilities in governance in the same way that many underestimated his candidacy.”
In any event, the activist argued that it “doesn’t matter if Republicans stick with Trump if we energize low-propensity Democratic voters to turn out.”
I agree, but would add that it’s equally important to get The Resistance to the polls.
I’m all in for protests and marches. I emceed the speech making after the Jan. 21 Murray, Ky., March for Equality and Social Justice, a sister to the Women’s March on Washington. I plan to attend Saturday’s Tax March rally in Louisville.
But like Daniel Hurt, one of the youngest members of the Kentucky Democratic Party’s Executive Committee, I pray that The Resistance gets it that voting is the most potent protest against King Leer and the GOP’s reactionary agenda.
Hurt doesn’t pull punches. “Republicans in Frankfort (Kentucky’s capital) and Washington have no interest in protesters’ opinions except on election day,” said the 23-year-old Murray State University senior and former student of mine who also chairs the Livingston County Democratic committee.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's what the organizers are saying about the Tax Day March rally:
President Donald Trump believes that the American people do not care about his taxes. April 15 is Louisville's chance to prove we do care.
Why we rally:
We rally for transparency from our President.
The Tax March isn't an organization; it's a movement gaining momentum around the country. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump told the American people he would release his tax returns, as every other Presidential candidate running and every American President since President Nixon had done. Despite intense public pressure, President Trump has not yet done so. In refusing to release these tax returns, he is able to obscure his business dealings, financial ties and conflicts of interest. What is our President hiding? Why doesn’t Mr. Trump release his taxes? Is he too chicken?
We rally for progressive tax reform in Kentucky.
Governor Matt Bevin and legislative leaders in the House and Senate say tax reform is a top priority for 2017. Their public statements indicate a goal of moving Kentucky toward a consumption-based tax system by cutting income tax rates and raising or broadening the sales tax along with new tax breaks like eliminating the inheritance tax and the business inventory tax. Such a plan would mean tax cuts for those at the top and large corporations, a shift in responsibility to middle- and low-income Kentuckians and less revenue over time to make public investments. We believe everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, and our tax system should be reformed to ensure that happens.
On April 15, we will rally at noon outside the IRS office in Louisville, at West Chestnut between 6th and 7th streets. We will chant, give speeches, and do the chicken dance. Join us in demanding transparency and fairness from our leaders.