Fred Barnes takes a long cold look at the 110th Congress -- which is pretty much deadlocked along party lines, and is encumbered with the uniquely awful figure of Joe Lieberman -- and notices its eerie similarity to the 1948 "Do Nothing" Congress, which had a solid Republican majority in both houses.
He points out that Bush could try to shame Congress publicly, as Truman did, but then thinks better of it; after all, "political stunts seldom work the second time," unless they involve flag burning, gay marriage, or a War on Christmas.
Still, the GOP could force votes on Five Important Issues, in hopes that the unprecedented spectacle of despised lawmakers swanning about and making cynical demands would "galvanize Republicans and lift the party's spirits."
It sounds implausible until you find out what Barnes has in mind, at which point it sounds batshit crazy. Here's the gist of it:
- Double or triple the number of foreigners given H-1B visas to work in America
- Allow nationwide purchase of health insurance
- Reduce the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 25 percent
- Lift the moratorium on offshore oil drilling
- Let the private sector build more highways
According to Barnes, doing all this would prove to America that "Republicans aren't dead yet."
That's one way of proving it, granted, but I've got a better one. I think GOP lawmakers should dress in SS regalia and wander through American shopping malls on all fours, singing "99 Bottles of Beer" and biting children. It'd be about as popular, and it'd be a lot less trouble.
(Illustration: "A Galvanized Corpse" from Harper's Weekly, 1836. Via BibliOdyssey.)