Donald Trump’s tax returns were front and center on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Tuesday night.
Donald Trump’s tax returns were front and center on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Tuesday night.

This week we were supposed to be celebrating the return of spring, not shoveling snow, so I’m cleaning out my closet of some political odds and ends as we await the reappearance of warm weather.

Was that a Trump campaign ad? MSNBC’s liberal anchor Rachel Maddow promised her viewers a bombshell on Tuesday night’s show: President Trump’s tax returns. What she revealed was a part of Trump’s 2005 federal return that showed he paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income for a tax rate of 25.3 percent. Since the left had assumed that Trump paid no taxes at all, it was a bit of a comedown. Now Trump can brag that he paid a higher rate than President Obama (2015, 18.7 percent) and Bernie Sanders (2014, 13.5 percent). Thanks, Rachel!

Fear of the unknown. Political observers ho-humming the field of unknown Democrats running against Republican Governor Charlie Baker in 2018 overlook an essential truth in Massachusetts politics, which is that Republicans are always the underdog. Baker won election in 2014 with less than 50 percent of the vote, edging out rival Martha Coakley by 40,000 votes. If not for the United Independent Party’s Evan Falchuk and his 71,000 votes, Coakley might be governor today. In a less polarizing time, it was possible for Bill Weld to win reelection in 1994 with 71 percent of the…