Thursday, May 25, 2006

WSJ: Republican Unity in Disarry

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on Republican infight as of late:

Like an aging centurion in the last days of Rome, Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, watched with dismay as his once-disciplined troops broke ranks and joined in opposing Alaska timber interests and oil-company drilling on federal lands. "Republicans are voting green tonight," said the Texan, not hiding his relief at leaving Congress next month.

But for the Republicans left behind, the budget infighting, the muddled news conference and the floor debate over federal lands can't be ignored: Democrats lost power in 1994 when they kept fighting among themselves, oblivious to their House burning around them. Republicans have ruled since with a remarkable discipline, but are at risk now because of exhaustion, scandals and, critics would say, the rigidity of their ideology and failure to learn from policy failures in a changing world.

As the Memorial Day recess approaches, long-sought pension legislation remains unfinished; even an emergency spending bill to replenish funds for the Iraq war will be postponed. Rarely have leaders talked so early and openly of a post-election session to finish the year's work. But the party takes a big risk of heading empty-handed into the November election.

[...]

California Rep. George Miller, a Democratic veteran of many environmental fights, smiled in recalling the palpable agitation in the air that evening. "You could start to see, they smelled meat cooking here. The atmosphere is changing."

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