It was a bit disquieting to pick up my morning Minneapolis Star Tribune today and read that recently elected Senator Norm Coleman has reservations about the Bush tax plan and has been meeting with a group of like minded senators to discuss possible alternatives. When the names of this group were revealed the disquiet turned to incredulity bordering on indignant rage (which is my common reaction to reading the Strib):
Accepting an invitation from Sen. John Breaux, D-La., Coleman attended a meeting in which senators aired their concerns. Coleman said the group included Democratic Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Dianne Feinstein of California, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Tom Carper of Delaware, Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
The Republicans attending were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, George Voinovich of Ohio and Olympia Snowe of Maine.
Dianne bleepin' Feinstein? I suppose with her at least you know what you're getting as opposed to the "Republicans" Lincoln Chafee and Olympia Snowe. These aren't exactly the folks I had in mind for Coleman to be consorting with when I pulled the lever back in November. And I have a hunch that neither did GW when he was on the campaign trail stumping for Norm.
The comments of Grover Norquist made me feel a bit better:
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, predicted the president's plan will pass both the House and Senate. "It's beyond a good idea: It's just brilliant," he said. "This is the first tax package aimed at the investor class, and 70 percent of the people who voted on Election Day November 5th own shares of stock."
He said Coleman is engaged in "smart politics" but predicted Republicans will line up behind the president.
"It is wise for Coleman to do the bipartisan thing," Norquist said. "First of all, he's new here. He needs to meet these guys. . . . That is exactly the right approach. Coleman's a smart cookie."
Let's hope that Norquist is right and Coleman is just playing this bipartisan game to gain influence and dispel the idea that he is the President's lap dog and that when the time comes to be counted he will support GW's tax plan. Fight the peer pressure Norm and stay true to yourself. After all if Dianne Feinstein jumped off a bridge would you do it too?