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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Tentin'

Jonah is right -- things will be interesting to watch and it all will unfold beneath a new tent pole.

Thanks to their chokehold on the federal government, and their near orthodox commitment to pay-to-play, all kinds of varied and seemingly antithetical forces have been treated to a federal bonanza in the last five-plus-years. Evangelicals, who may have risked turning their churches into IRS audit-eligible, tax-paying political organizations, were allied with the GOP's rollback of science.

The pharmaceutical and energy industries wrote legislation that padded their pockets with taxpayer loot. The xenophobes found themselves alongside multinational corporate interests. Racists, homophobes and anti-Semites marched in lockstep with Jewish former liberals who called themselves neoconservatives.

The Republicans have simply been the big tent -- and what a circus crowd it was beneath that thing. You don't have to take Rush Limbaugh's word for it to see that all kinds of folks carried political water for interests that had nothing to do with their own save for serving the GOP machine.

This coalition of the chilling was smashed on Tuesday. And now the Democratic tent will fill up -- with revenge-seekers and moderate move-along types. Free traders will be in the same ruling caucus as protectionists. Hawks, doves, liberals, conservatives. The netroots and the establishment will go at it. It will be a lot of fun to watch.

Let's just hope the Democrats show a bit of discipline while leading the first branch of American government. CHB isn't disciplined, however, so I'd say: Let's get right to withdrawal plans in Iraq; let's allow the government to negotiate with drug companies over prices instead of having to remain mute, as is currently the law; let's look at ceo pay and the minimum wage. Let's establish national election guidelines to ensure paper trails. And let's fix the alternative minimum tax after a long series of hearings held in congressional districts around the country -- a GOP playbook staple to drum up good press, look convincingly populist, and smother those bastards for their failure to make the tax code fair for those of us who work and play by the rules.

And let's sic the IRS on all them daggum politickin' churches.

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