The Moose wonders whether the President will be forced to call in the 82nd Airborne to quell a rebellion in a nation's capital.
This time, the site of these disturbances is not Baghdad but rather D.C. Several rebellious congressional clerics are apparently challenging the Grand Ayatollah's authority in Washington over the intelligence bill. The first graph in the lead story in yesterday's New York Times told the entire story,
"President Bush sought to stem a near-rebellion by members of his own party in Congress yesterday by describing a sweeping intelligence-overhaul bill they oppose as an effort "to do everything necessary to confront and defeat the terrorist threat" and calling for its passage during a brief Congressional session this week."
Renegade clerics Hunter and Sensenbrenner are leading the insurgency. Hunter objects to the invasion of sacred congressional ground, otherwise known as turf. Sensenbrenner wants to crack down on infidels receiving driver's licenses. Both perhaps worthy objectives - but they do call into question who is in charge in the G.O.P.
After the November debacle, the smart money predicted that the donkeys would be at each other's throat. Instead, the Republicans are the ones engaged in a civil war. Only days after the returns were in, Arlen Specter felt the wrath of the fundamentalists and was forced to place his conscience in a blind trust in order to retain his chairmanship.
This probably is indicative of what the future holds for the G.O.P. as long suppressed tensions in the party come to the surface and their leader is increasingly viewed as a lame duck. Social moderates vs. the religious right, neo-cons vs. the foreign policy traditionalists and fiscal hawks vs. supply siders all may be feuding in the coming months and years.
And we thought the donkey had tsouris! The next thing we'll learn is that the entire House Republican caucus is stoked up on steroids!