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Please begin with an informative title:

Or, more precisely, "DEE-fense DEE-fense, That's What Counts!"

As Christian Dem points out, Republicans in Congress are finally getting around to checking election results and acknowledging that the fellow running on a policy of raising the marginal rates of the highest earners won.

After a month of Five Stages of Losing, they have finally stumbled into the neighborhood of Acceptance. Their epiphany, however, has been short-lived and they've quickly worked themselves into a redux of the Denial and Bargaining stages.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Republicans now believe that their capitulation on tax rates means that everything else they want is now on the table--gutting Medicare, destroying Social Security, defunding health and education programs--the whole New Deal enchilada.

"We gave you your rates, boy, now get out of the way while we dismantle the government."

With one, glaring, exception: defense.

I have yet to hear a single Republican acknowledge that the five-sided fatso across the Potomac could stand to lose a few pounds, that both the Cold War and the New Crusades are over and that there really is something called a "peace dividend."

To be fair, our president doesn't talk much about it, either.

For me, the most appealing part of the Fictional Cliff nonsense is that the sequestration cuts, which neither side ever intended to take place, fall equally on defense and domestic spending, a parity which will never come out of any "grand bargain" negotiated between congressional 'Pubs and the White House. That blind ax has been our best chance to actually trim our 58%-of-the-world war juggernaut.

As Republicans and Democrats inch closer to the same general time zone in these discussions, we'll be yelling louder and louder venerable phrases like "Hands off Medicare!" and "It's MY Social Security!" All to the good.

But there is a cheer I fervently hope will not be lost in the shouting as we pick up the tempo of our cliff dance:

"What About the Damned Pentagon?!!"

Post scriptum: Yes, I know that real cuts in defense spending mean real job losses and hard impacts on support services. My own main money gig as a sub sub sub sub contractor for DOD has been frozen solid ever since this game of chicken was announced--despite the fact that the money for our main project was already paid years ago.

I know the hits involved. I'm already taking mine. One less unneeded bomber or golf-and-stripper weekend for the top brass isn't going to hurt me any more.

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