At first I didn't recognize any of them. But when I finally boarded and took my seat, I saw that I was sitting across the aisle from Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). This is Tom "I object! I object!" Price, one of the former medical doctors in the House Republican conference. Strangely, in the recent health care debate it was really important to him that many Americans remain unable to visit a doctor. Sitting on Price's left was a Tea Party guy (he said he'd been to a Tea Party rally recently) who was happy as hell to be sitting next to a Republican representative. The guy talked Price's ear off, and to Price's credit, he engaged the guy in conversation for almost the entire flight, even though the Congressman was visibly exhausted. Their conversation, from what I could hear, was normal conservative stuff about government being completely inept and useless. I wanted to lean across the aisle and say, "Congressman, if government really is that worthless, will you please resign from Congress?"
I later learned that one of the guys sitting in front of me was Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), another former medical doctor who worked hard to prevent more Americans from getting medical coverage. Back in March, Broun compared health care reform to--I kid you not--"the Great War of Yankee Aggression." Real champions of the people, these guys. What is it with Southern Republicans glorifying the Confederacy?
Oh, there was an actual champion of the people on the flight. Just before they closed the main cabin door, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) hurried on board. As he walked past my row, he saw Price and Broun and joked, "Oh, look at the friendly faces!" They didn't crack a smile or say a word. When Grayson was out of ear shot, Price said to Broun and Tea Party Guy, "In November, we are gonna send him home."
When we landed and pulled up to the gate in Atlanta, I was standing in the aisle between Broun and Price, who were talking about "the agenda for next year." Broun seemed really excited. He said he'd been talking with people (I presume other House Republicans) about being "really bold" and doing "really big stuff." They both talked about running their plans by John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the Republican Leader and Republican Whip. They were certain about Republicans taking the majority in the House. Speaking of the elections in November, Broun said to Price, "I'm hearing from [name I forget]'s pollster that it's gonna be anywhere from 60 to 70 seats." Price answered, "Yeah, I'm hearing 60 seats, 60 seats."
So there you have it. The Confederates are confident. They're practically measuring the drapes in the Speaker's office. I don't know; maybe they will take the majority. But I think in 2012, Democrats riding on Obama's coattail would take it back. And in the long run, America is moving steadily to the Left, and the Confederates/Republicans are on the wrong side of history.