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Greg Sargent has noticed that our careful-to-toe-the-center-line Senator Claire McCaskill is betting that the Buffett Rule is a winner (something we commented on last week):

Dems point out that even Claire McCaskill, who’s facing a tough fight in Missouri, has been flogging the issue – proof, they say, that it can gain traction even in difficult states or districts.

Of course, McCaskill’s a smart cookie (as they say in the old movies), and understands that the Buffett Rule not only appeals to our desire for a fair tax code, but makes palpable the contrast between Democratic policies that favor the middle class and the GOP’s rich man fetish. It doesn’t hurt either that, in Sargent’s words,  the GOP presidential contender, Mitt Romeny, is a “walking emblem of all the ways the economy and tax system are rigged against the middle class and in favor of the rich.” Hence the DSCC Web ad reproduced on the right side of this post.

Another indicator that, in addition to being the right thing to do on a moral level, this direction will be politically effective lies in the weak GOP response. Sargent notes that the GOP leadership is attempting to dismiss the upcoming vote on the Buffett rule as a “show” vote, taken for political purposes. All this claim does, of course, is underline the fact that if it is a show vote, it is only so because of GOP obstructionism. When the vote fails, we’ll know who’s to blame. Nor does it help the GOP cause that the Republican dominated U.S. House has staged any number of such show votes this session, most recently the vote for the Ryan Budget.

UPDATE: Not only is the GOP response weak, but the response from the Mitt Romney camp is downright dispicable. Romney’s spokesmen tried, in the wake of the President’s speech yesterday, to slime the eponymous Warren Buffet:

The rule, I think, is also an example of Washington at its worst,” Hassett said. “It exempts municipal bond interests from the harsh capital treatment and you might wonder why, given that we’re calling it the Buffett Rule – I think it’s no coincidence Berkshire [Hathaway, Buffett’s firm] has been a big player in municipal bond markets.”

The exemption of municipal bonds from the proposed top rate, is, of course, intended “to prevent city and state taxpayers of all income levels from picking up a bigger tab for loans taken by local governments.”

But, hey, par for the course for the GOP to go after anything that benefits the middle class directly.