The nation’s capitol can be a festive place at Christmas. And so it is this year, with a twist.

The decorations are up all over and Union Station, with its giant wreaths at the entrance, is a wonderful site with the US Capitol as a backdrop. The twist is the anticipation mixed with dread mixed with the scent of opportunity for both parties and the barely contained avarice of the myriad hangers on, lobbyists, and parasites that comprise the heart of the DC environment.

The Republicans are adjusting to a post-Trump world that will not be post-Trump. The president, in or out of office, will continue to call many of the shots, as the following of his base has not only failed to diminish but has been strengthened by their view of him as a martyr. But certain elements of the party establishment, based on the Hill and in the big donor base, are looking to Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, present Minority Leader of the House, for upcoming action. If he can pull a deal with moderate Democrats and deny Pelosi the speakership he will jump to an equal status with, if not greater influence than, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the present and likely continuing Majority Leader of the Senate. The Republicans think, and history bears them out, they will close the single digit advantage of Democrats in the House and win the majority there outright in 2022. That’s McCarthy’s calling card to moderate Democrats: Get on the train now. By 2022 it will have left the station.

Speaking of McConnell, he and the Republican Senate campaign arm, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, better be legally proactive in Georgia or once again they will suffer the consequences of stolen elections and possible loss of the Senate.

The Democrats are jubilant and anticipating the Biden administration with great hope for themselves, if not for the country. But the opening shots of the usual Democrat civil wars while in office have been fired, as the hard left comes up against a hack chief executive, a hard left almost veep with conflicting ideological and professional loyalties, a nervous Democrat House majority, and moderates who don’t want to alienate the center left with wacky Bolshevik schemes.

The DC establishment knows that Biden will turn the government funding spigots on full blast in January and that puts them in a festive holiday spirit. Cash will be thrown at every social ill imaginable, and some that will just be imagined on the spot, to fill DC salaries, contracts, and offices with big government apparatchiks out of the think tanks and lobbying shops. The beneficiaries of the largesse are putting down deposits on DC condos and beach houses on assorted shores right about now. And what of the taxpayer? A lump of coal and the burden of paying the bills. Merry Christmas.