Diary

King Obama & the East India Republicans

Fear not. This is not spam promoting a new holiday dance band.

It is the product of a sleepless night of internet musing provoked by Erick Erickson’s post urging Americans to scrap Obama’s budget-busting tax deal. Erickson offers a critical question for Republicans who’ve gathered around the fake yet lavishly decorated White House Christmas Tree.

Note: Senator Mitch McConnell’s office is now doing a full court press saying that the tax breaks for particular companies are not ‘earmarks.’ Friends, an earmark is not necessarily spending money, but is a line item put into legislation or a committee report without full congressional review typically from one member of Congress on behalf of a lobbyist or donor to benefit the lobbyist’s client or the donor. How the hell is a line item related to Starkist Tuna in American Samoa carved out just for them not an earmark for one of the major employers in Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district?

Here’s another way of posing this excellent question:  how in the Sam Hill does this government blend of political budgetry differ from the crony corporate deal carved out by imperialists for the British East India Company? You know, the deal that motivated patriots to act on December 16, 1773?

Like most Americans I’m motivated by stories of revolutionary founders. Like many I really haven’t studied the significance of those stories beyond what I read in grade school textbooks.

Erick’s post prompted me to take a closer look at the Boston Tea Party. And from what I’ve found, that powwow was not simply a protest against a tea tax. It was an act of open defiance against a tax exemption granted to a corporation favored by King George III.

Fishing around the web I found an interesting article by tax historian Joseph Thorndike. I have no idea what Thorndike’s politics are (whether he’s a registered Democrat or Republican). Frankly I don’t give a dang. What he says is worthy of attention alongside Erickson’s provocative post.

Musing on what these men have written makes me certain that today’s Tea Party will substantially broaden or marginalize its identity before the end of the year. Much hinges on what happens between now and December 16, 2010. Will the Senate kick off the winter saturnalia with a new dance band?

I’d much rather celebrate the holidays with Paul Revere & the Raiders.