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November 1, 2010
Politicians tend to suffer from attention-deficit disorder. The voters who send them to Washington every other November usually want them to do a few distinct things. Yet by the time the next election comes around, the party in power has usually undertaken reforms, makeovers, foreign misadventures, and free-market interventions that nobody really asked for. Little wonder that control of the government swings from one party to the other as often as it does.
This year, the message is clearer than usual: Fix the economy. Yet both parties have an agenda that goes far beyond that. Humbled Democrats still want to work on immigration and energy reform in the lame-duck session of Congress between now and January. Emboldened Republicans want to undo President Obama's healthcare reform and many other measures passed over the last two years. Both parties seem to need constant reminders that the unemployment rate is stuck at nearly 10 percent, and millions of Americans need economic help. Now.