Monday, Sept. 14, 2009 | 10:28 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Greetings, Early Liners. The capital is back to workday normalcy after a spirited weekend of Tea Party protesters, but the political landscape might be not quite the same.
We’ve officially entered the “You Lie” era of political discourse (lots of T-shirts saying so on Saturday). The rally on the National Mall topped a hot summer of protest over the direction the Obama administration is taking the country, especially on health care.
You can gather a snapshot of a crowd by the theater they bring to the streets. Many matching red-white-and-blue outfits. Hundreds of bright yellow, hand-held “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. Humor: A baseball hat that read “Tax Cap.”
Visitors in town this weekend were a sight to behold. Anti-big government crusaders zipped around on the Metro (no irony there). Snippets of conversation were left behind – about fears of government take over, the need to arm oneself with guns.
Yet throughout the weekend, the uncomfortable undercurrent of the racial divide could be felt, with the first African-American president in the White House.
The Tea Party’s signature logo of Obama, with his face painted white as the “Joker,” was spotted on at least one T-shirt. Also seen was a homemade sign reading, “Slaves to Government Debt” – with aluminum foil shackles dangling from the poster board.
The protesters are gone. But the tenor of the debate in Washington promises one chilly autumn.
Another busy week here on the Hill.
The Senate takes up the FY2010 Transportation spending bill, which has important items for Nevada. The House wrestles with whether it will vote on a resolution of disapproval against Republican Rep. Joe Wilson for his “You Lie!” outburst.
Republican Senate hopeful Danny Tarkanian is in town to talk with the National Republican Senatorial Committee about his chances to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Republican Rep. Dean Heller is on a PR blitz – trumpeting Obama’s interest in having a verification system so illegal immigrants cannot access health care (something Heller tried unsuccessfully to accomplish with a committee amendment) and sending a taxpayer funded mailer to argue against government-run health care.
A few interesting reads in the weekend papers.
Our piece in the Sun offers Q&A on health care reform.
What recession? The price of gold hit $1,000-plus an ounce last week, the RJ reports.
That’s all for now. Check back later for all the political news in Nevada.