The latest tactic from the far left whackoes, the “outing” of allegedly gay Republicans (both officials and staffers), has me thinking again. A while ago I wondered what the hell was the point; it seems to be a political “temper tantrum” more than anything else.
But since it seems here to stay, I’m starting to wonder what would be an appropriate counter-tactic for Republicans to use against the Democrats. And as he so often does, Ted Kennedy has come to me in my hour of need and presented me with a shining example of hypocrisy.
One of the hardy perennial battle cries of the Democrats is that the Republicans are the party of the rich, that they are always giving tax cuts to the rich and helping their wealthy buddies avoid paying their “fair share” of taxes. So, one would think that Ted Kennedy, as one of the wealthiest Democrats in the US Senate, is always exceptionally careful to pay all the taxes he is obligated to pay, right?
Nah. You see, he’s the patriarch of the Kennedy family, the Senior Senator from Massachusetts, the Lion of the Democratic Party. He’s ABOVE such concerns.
Several years ago, the Massachusetts legislature tried to jack up the state income tax. A rather crafty anti-tax lawmaker sneaked in a provision making the higher tax rate “optional,” meaning that taxpayers would continue paying the 5.3% rate unless they chose to pay the higher 5.8% rate. Since its inception, less than one one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%) of taxpayers have chosen to give more money to the state than they absolutely had to — and that tiny percentage has NEVER included the state’s two Senators, Ted Kennedy and John Kerrey.
Last year, Ted Kennedy found he had run afoul of the law in a scandal that — technically — could have cost him his Senate seat. In order to exploit a property tax break, he declared his Washington home his “primary residence.” The problem was that if that was his primary residence, he was no longer legally a resident of Massachusetts, and could not represent them in the Senate. He ended up paying the back taxes.
Finally, when his mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, died in 1995, he had her will probated in Florida, which has no inheritance tax. While it is true the family owns a compound (that, I believe, is a step up from a “mansion”) there, Mrs. Kennedy died a registered voter in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts and had not left the state in about a dozen years. Nonetheless, her estate was able to avoid paying Massachusetts’ “Paris Hilton tax,” and not one official said a word.
Ted Kennedy: the drunken sot has never seen a tax hike he didnt’ like, never saw a tax cut he didn’t fiercely oppose, but over the years has done everything he can to avoid paying his “fair share” of money to the government for him to spend.
Nah. That’s not comparable to “outing” gay Republicans. Paying taxes is a public obligation, while one’s sex life is private. It’s too relevant to be a fair countermeasure.
So, if that won’t work, what would be an appropriate tactic?