Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | May 13, 2003

Congressional GOP resentful of Bush

Though not much is being said for attribution, it seems that congressional GOPers are increasingly hostile to their president's agenda and tactics.

Some Republican members of Congress and their aides say the president is responsible for his waning clout, though most say it only anonymously. They grouse that he takes their votes for granted. They grumble that he's dismissive of ideas that don't originate at the White House. They complain that his tax cuts are too large to be politically palatable in a bad economy. Some say his agenda is in jeopardy because he has overreached.

''The president is having more trouble than he should'' getting his priorities through Congress, says Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., the former majority leader.

Losing control of the Senate in 2002 may have been the best thing to happen to Democrats in a long time. Besides forcing the party to do some soul-searching (the results which should become apparent in this coming election season), it also removes the "obstructionist" boogeyman from Rove's bag of tricks.

In effect, Democrats can't be blamed for ANYTHING right now. The GOP controls all levers of government. That's why GOP charges of "obstructionism" ring so hollow right now. All the Dems have to do is point to the majority leaders in GOP suits.

Furthermore, Bush's aggressive tactics against Democrats (bellying his b.s. about "uniting, not dividing" and "bipartisanship") have unified the Dem caucus like nothing else:

Democrats are more united as a minority in the Senate than they were when they ran it. Those who might be inclined to cut a deal with Bush for a big tax-cut plan, such as Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, took a lesson from last year's campaign. She had voted for the president's 2001 tax cuts, but he still campaigned aggressively against her.
Of course, Miller continues on his "maverick" tack, unfazed by what Rove's machine did to pal Max Cleland. But all in all, it's been quite surprising (and refreshing) to see such unity (including Breaux and Nelson) within Dem ranks.

Posted May 13, 2003 09:37 AM | Comments (95)


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