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Dems Duck Middle Class Tax Cut Fight

09/24/2010 10:30 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are you telling me that the party of F.D.R. and Harry S. Truman, but also tax slasher John F. Kennedy, cannot make the case for middle class tax cuts, while simultaneously making the case against extending tax cuts to the wealthiest 2%? As for small businesses, Democrats already covered that in the $42B Small Business Jobs Act, which the House just sent to Obama's desk. When Independents are looking towards Republicans more than Democrats, ducking a middle class tax cut fight is political malpractice.

Democrats have also decided to not deal with the Bush tax cut repeal. Speaker Pelosi couldn't rally her caucus, mostly because of conservative Democrats worried about midterms. Someone needs to explain what the hell having a majority means if so called Democrats are going to slither away without making the case for middle class tax cuts.

If any Congress deserved to get blown out of Washington it's the 111th. I know it will usher in ugliness from the Right. However, if Democrats won't stand on a line to make the case they've stood on throughout history, which is standing up for the middle class, then they don't deserve the majority.

The president's recent proposal to extend tax cuts for the middle class, while letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy, is a smart political move for a number of reasons: 1) it enjoys rising public support; 2) it protects against the loss of swing independents; 3) it allows Democrats to drive a contrast with the GOP; and 4) it allows Democrats to address voters' overlapping economic concerns," offers the memo, which was obtained by HuffPost and written by John Anzalone and Mark Keida of Anzalone Liszt Research.

Not even bothering to make the fight is the height of political cowardice. It's leaving a move on the board against Republicans un-played that Democrats need and the electorate wants to hear from them. Make the case, drive it home hard, then let the people decide who has their economic back.

If Democrats in "difficult" districts can't make the case against extending Bush tax cuts for the top 2%, while resoundingly raising their voice for middle class tax cuts, then these Democrats deserve to lose, because the district is too red to help the Democratic agenda actually manifest real progress that matters.

Ryan Grimm laid out the breakdown, which includes Sen. Feinstein saying it would be a "mistake" to tackle tax cuts before the election. But this coming from Ms. Milulski sickens me:

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), also up for re-election, said that she was in favor of voting on extending the middle-class tax cuts before the election, but was willing to extend tax breaks for the wealthy for two years as part of a compromise.

Where has FDR's Democratic Party gone?

Washington's Patty Murray, who's in the fight of her life, said it plainly: "We should not go home without extending these tax cuts." Sen. Russ Feingold said basically the same thing.

Meanwhile, the White House blamed Republicans. Sorry, but if you're not willing to make the fight and go down on principles you don't get to blame the other guy.

Never has a Democratic majority failed to use their power to fight for the middle class, with Pres. Obama taking the only way out he has to blame Republicans, even though it was the Democratic leadership in Congress that made the decision.

Blue collar Democrats, as opposed to conservative Blue Dog Dems, depend on Democrats. The 111th Congress let them down by refusing to make the tax cut fight.

Why shouldn't people vote them out?

Joe Sestak, running against Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, reveals what a fighting Democrat looks like. It's also how you turn an election your way.

"This is no time to shy away from this fight -- because we're fighting for middle class Americans," said Joe. "We cannot let the extremists and the special interests shout us down, no matter how many millions they spend on deceptive campaigns against us. We were elected to fight for ordinary Americans, and this is the moment when we prove we can fulfill that public trust. This is the hour for courageous leadership. Working families are struggling, and we cannot afford to kick the can down the road. Let's stand up and say 'enough is enough.'" - Joe Sestak

Taylor Marsh is a political analyst and veteran national political writer out of Washington, D.C.