It's been a scant four weeks since the first Tuesday in November and members of the nation's majority political party have been, to say the least, busy. In firm control of all three branches of government, and empowered by a majority of the electorate, Republicans have given the nation a glimpse of their agenda for America. In just 28 days, these paragons of virtue and traditional values have:
- Added an additional $800 billion to an already record budget deficit. (After only four years in the bush - no pun intended- these good stewards have enabled our nation's federal debt to balloon by $1.4 trillion. This does not include the additional $1 trillion that will likely be borrowed to fund transition costs associated with establishing private Social Security accounts.)
- Been caught trying to sneak a provision into a 3,000-page spending bill that would have, if not detected and removed, enabled members of Congress and their staff to examine the federal tax returns of private citizens.
- Exhibited a heart-warming display of charity by passing the Defense of Tom DeLay Act. (Recognizing that charity is best when given anonymously, the vote was taken secretly behind closed doors.)
- Very likely killed a piece of bipartisan legislation that would have enacted significant recommendations made by the 9/11 commission. (It seems for the time being at least, protecting political turf and control of the purse strings has trumped national security.)
- Pushed hard to repeal country of origin labeling. (I can only assume there is a perfectly logical reason why Americans should remain blissfully ignorant about where our country's food products come from.)
- Spent an additional $4 billion and another 135 American lives reconquering Iraq this November. (In a related development, Colin Powell delivered his version of deja vu all over again. This time, the recently outsourced secretary of state assured us that Iran has weapons of mass destruction! I wonder, can the next grave and gathering threat speech be far behind?)
- Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mr. Bush spent most of November restocking is ship of fools. (These cabinet appointments, when confirmed, will pretty much ensure that our emperor will hear only what he wants to hear the next four years.)
- Mr. Bush did find time to spend a few days in Canada. While there, our President proudly reported that he was greeted by friendly crowds waving with all five fingers as opposed to the more typical one-finger salute seen during infrequent travel outside his carefully constructed comfort zones.