Under the Elephant

A look at what's coming with the Republicans in charge.

The mail (e and otherwise) has been pouring in since the election debacle last month. Most comes from gloaters who are all giddy from the Republican victory. A few other people, who apparently mistake my relatively conservative lifestyle for conservative politics, have written to urge me to join the winning side.

Lately all the dickheads on Fox News have been babbling on about how this represents a "sea change" and that the GOP will control the country for the next 20 years. Initially, this thought is thoroughly depressing, but since I figure to be around for at least the next 20 years, I should at least get ready for what's coming.

We should be good losers and at least try to accentuate the potential positives of having the Republicans in charge of everything. Heck, back in the 1960s, the Dems were in charge and they got the Civil Rights Bill passed, schools were integrated, minorities and women received equal protection under the law and America conquered space.

Republicans haven't controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency in almost 50 years. They're always talking about what they'll do if they ever get power, and now they'll get their chance.

One of their biggest complaints for much of the past quarter-century has been about a balanced budget. I remember them screaming bloody murder about budget deficits during the Jimmy Carter years, but they must have screamed themselves hoarse, because when Reagan came in, all that balanced-budget talk went away. (Of course, Reagan ran up more deficits in eight years than all of the 39 other presidents before him combined, but it was OK because he was trying to outspend an Evil Empire or something.)

The furor over a balanced budget started up again after Reagan left office and was finally accomplished during the Clinton Administration. In fact, there was actually a budget surplus when Bush took office. And now that they control all three points of the triumvirate, they're probably going to have a super-duper, industrial-strength balanced budget.

A few other things that we're sure to see now that America has awakened from its long liberal nightmare and seen the GOP for what it is--a shining path to a better and whiter America:

· Smaller government. This we can all applaud. The GOP has been hawking smaller government for decades. And now we're going to get it. Oh sure, this new Homeland Security Department is going to cause a temporary increase in the size of government, but it will only do so until the nebulous threat of some undetermined terrorist activity that may or may not hit the U.S. is no longer a sure-fire vote-getter for the Repubs. After that, they'll really get after that smaller government pledge.

· Less government intrusion in our lives. I know, I know. They want the CIA to operate domestically, they want an ultra-FBI organization put together to spy on Americans here at home, and they want to open our mail, look inside our computers and tap our phones without court orders, but dammit, it's for our own good! If you can't trust John Ashcroft to look out for our civil rights, who can you trust?

· They'll rid the world of bad guys. Some critics might focus on the fact that this Osama bin-Laden guy is still alive, but it's not like the Bush Administration would be using that fact to its own political advantage. I'm sure that Bush's people are looking as hard as they can for the guy. It can't be very easy finding a 6-foot-5-inch Arab man with a long gray beard.

Plus, people seem to forget about the bang-up job Bush's forces did in Afghanistan with those Taliban folks. Of course, the Taliban was less of a government and more like a fraternity prank gone horribly wrong, but they're gone now. And maybe in the next 20 years of GOP rule, that Osama fellow might join them.

· They'll restore morality to America. Oh sure, they tried to pin all of the corporate excesses on Clinton, but not even that fraudulent bitch Bill O'Reilly buys that whopper. But now that they've paraded a couple of corporate crooks in front of the cameras, I'm sure that they have plans to begin the process of reversing the decades-old marriage of Republican "ideals" and corporate excess and greed.

It should also be noted that the Bush team has already made a small dent in the crime rate in this country. Just last month his drunk-ass daughters finally turned 21, so they're no longer breaking the law every time they go to a bar and get puke-faced.

· They'll fix Social Security. Finally, the GOP will get to institute its brilliant plan of privatizing Social Security and tying it to the stock market. If only they had had the chance to do it a couple years ago. Why, we'd have an entire generation of World War II veterans working at fast-food places to keep from having to subsist on cat food.

· They'll eliminate wasteful spending and cut taxes. They've already gone after what they consider to be the most wasteful of all government spending, that being money spent on the Environmental Protection Agency and all the funds wasted on Security and Exchange Commission investigations into corporate fraud and the like.

As for tax cuts, they've got that much-hated estate tax in their crosshairs already. Of course, only the top 2 percent of all wealthy Americans will ever have to deal with the estate tax, so they'll get all of the savings. The average person won't get any real tax relief because somebody has to make up for the budget shortfall and the estate-tax windfall for the mega-wealthy. But George W. Bush thinks it's every American's dream to be rich, so in Republican America, it's our civic duty to be happy for those who just happened to get there before the rest of us.

Gosh, 20 years of this and more! I just can't wait.

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