Epic fail alert

Four years ago this week, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress rammed through a major tax bill that gave lots of money away, mostly to people who didn't need it. No one in the GOP ranks dared to stand in the way.

But here we are today with Joe Biden in the White House, Democratic control of the House, and a tie in the Senate, and the Democrats are getting nothing done on taxes. It appears that any vote on a tax bill is going to have to wait until the spring at the earliest.

And I wouldn't count on it happening even then. Big tax bills don't pass in election years. The Dems had all of 2021 to get it done, and they are failing. Have you noticed? Suddenly they're changing the subject to Sean Hannity's texts on January 6.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, got her end of the deal done, but over in the Senate, where so much good legislation goes to die, the anemic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, is being out-muscled by Joe Manchin, the grouchy old coal mining coot from West Virginia. Biden has even tried negotiating one-on-one with him, but nothing's moving. Manchin is tubing the whole thing.

Or at least that's what Biden and Schumer would have you believe. Guys like Biden, Schumer, and Ron Wyden, "D"-"Oregon" and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, say they want to tax the rich. But I think a more important goal for them is to be rich themselves. They can make Manchin out to be the convenient bogeyman, but meanwhile plenty of their fat-cat campaign contributors like things just the way the Trumpies left them. And so settling for a lame tax package, next year sometime, maybe, is no big loss for those two senators.

But it's political suicide for the party as a whole. So many progressives, who worked so hard to give the Democrats the power they now have, are smacking their heads and wondering why they would waste another year of their lives trying to hold on to this disappointing status quo.

One thing's for sure, it would never happen on the red side of the aisle. If somebody over there stood up and tried to pull a Manchin, old Turtle McConnell would kick their butt back to wherever they came from. They'd be punished over and over, and would never try it again. But on the blue side, Schumer is such a hand-wringing wimp. And Wyden doesn't help, posing one pointless, crazy idea after another, all dead on arrival.

Taxes should have been taken care of first thing last spring, not next spring. Bush Jr. knew the drill. You can push it out as far as Christmas of the first year, as Trump did, but that's the deadline, as a practical matter. If there's no tax bill by Tuesday, it's a whole new ballgame, even tougher than the one that the Democrats have been playing, so ineptly, for the last few months.