Sunday, January 14, 2007

Now THIS is a surprise

After years as rubber stampers, America's minority party has made a break with Bush. Newsweek reports the splintering of the GOP.

Last Tuesday afternoon, a day before President George W. Bush went on TV to explain his decision to send more troops to Iraq, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called his Republican colleagues together for a private talk. Several GOP senators had already come out against the plan. McConnell, Bush's closest Senate supporter on Iraq, hoped to keep others from defecting. He urged his colleagues to stand together at least until Bush had the chance to speak to the country. After the meeting, the senators went outside the room to display their unity to waiting reporters. McConnell said he thought more troops were just the thing to "give us a chance to succeed." He then stepped aside so the other senators could second his sentiments. No one came forward. McConnell's eye fell on Trent Lott. "Trent?" McConnell said, motioning him toward the microphone. "I don't think I have anything to add," said Lott.

Wow. This makes McConnell look like an even worse Senate leader than Bill Frist was, if he, erm, misunderestimated his fellow senators so badly.

Well, it's nice to see the rubber stampers develop a spine. I know it's asking too much for them to follow in the footsteps of Howard Baker and really ask tough questions of their president, but what can you do? The next two years are going to be bad for the party-before-country crowd, and they're going to have to make some choices.