F. Scott Fitzgerald quipped on the topic of alcohol consumption that “first you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” That progression could also be used as a parallel to the recent movement of the erstwhile genteel Republican party into rabid rightwing radicalism. In this scenario, most of today’s GOP pols play the role of liquor salesmen delivering ever more potent brews to their addicted clientele. Democrats, on the other hand, learned about intoxication the hard way some time ago. We remember the damage done by slogan-chanting, Mao-drunk new lefties nearly 40 years ago. Nowadays, the best of our politicians look for smoother alternatives to the white-lightening served up on the right, something that’ll fire up folks at home without clouding judgment, while the worst of our gang serve up the same emotion-churning rot-gut, but water it well down first.

An example of the latter , Democratic Claire McCaskill gives us a little shot of the hard stuff from time to time, but I’d suggest that you check the bottle before you start singing her praises as a bar-tender. Most recently, McCaskill poured us a big shot

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Robert Reich lays out the consequences of this and similar reversions to the GOP mean in a must-read article from The American Prospect (TAP). Reich looks at the failure of “free market” rhetoric to explain or solve te problem of growing inequality and demonstrates that “the key to understanding the rise in inequality isn’t technology or globalization. It’s the power of the moneyed interests to shape the underlying rules of the market.” And ladies and gentlemen, the little GOP troika described above are very busy trying to shape the “underlying rules” that determine who benefits in our economy. And it isn’t you and me.