Thursday, May 20, 2004

Yesterday the General blogged on how the US national security state has defected from the Bush coalition -- an amazing thing considering the military, the intelligence bureaucracy and Senators on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees are key members of any Republican bloc. Recent news suggests that the morons in the GOP who cut up the national security state interests just can't help continuing to rub salt in the wound they caused in the first place!

From today's Washington Post:
A two-month-old House-Senate standoff over the 2005 budget burst into public acrimony yesterday, when the GOP House speaker questioned Sen. John McCain's credentials as a Republican and suggested that the decorated Vietnam War veteran did not understand the meaning of sacrifice.

The battle over the budget has highlighted rising tensions between a House dominated by conservatives and a Senate where moderates still wield considerable influence, with President Bush's agenda caught in the crossfire.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) lectured McCain (Ariz.) -- an outspoken opponent of Bush's tax cuts -- over war sacrifices, drawing a blistering retort from McCain, who nearly died of war wounds in a North Vietnamese prison camp.
From today's CNN:
In a rare public swipe at a fellow Republican, House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday questioned the GOP credentials of John McCain, a U.S. senator who has often challenged party orthodoxy.

Talking to reporters, Hastert pretended not to know who McCain was when asked about a recent statement by the GOP senator from Arizona.

As other House GOP members stood behind him laughing, Hastert, R-Illinois, then expressed doubt that McCain was indeed a Republican.
And from Maureen Dowd today:
In a bracing display of old-fashioned public spiritedness, the courtly Virginian joined up with the crusty Arizonan, John McCain, to brush back Rummy and the partisan whippersnappers in Congress who are yelping that the Senate Armed Services Committee's public hearings into prison abuse by American soldiers are distracting our warriors from taking care of business in Iraq.

"I think the Senate has become mesmerized by cameras, and I think that's sad," said a California Republican, Representative Duncan Hunter.

Then Senator John Cornyn of Texas weighed in, suggesting that Mr. Warner, a Navy officer in World War II, a Marine lieutenant in the Korean War and a Navy secretary under Nixon, and Mr. McCain, who lived in a dirt suite at the Hanoi Hilton for five years, were not patriotic. Their "collective hand-wringing," Mr. Cornyn sniffed, could be "a distraction from fighting and winning the war."
The ideologues and true-believers among the Republican Party are truly playing with fire on this one. This is a very serious process of jockeying and struggling over position and power within the GOP. In the current US political climate, my money is on the war heroes to defeat the posers. But perhaps I should root for Hastert? A win by the wingnut set will surely burn the entire GOP to the ground this fall. The national security state will be leaking to Sy Hersh like a sieve.

Thanks to No More Mr. Nice Blog for the heads up.

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