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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Crazy Pills

Having been totally heads-down on a day-job project involving endless columns of county election results (more about that next week), I picked up this morning’s Washington Post feeling like an space cadet returning to Planet Earth. But the first thing that caught my attention was one of those classic Robert Novak columns channeling the peculiar world view of House Republicans.Today the Prince of Darkness informed us all that House Speaker Denny Hastert threw not one but two hissy fits–one for Dick Cheney and one for W. himself–over the abrupt firing of his buddy Porter Goss at the CIA. Here are the two nut graphs:

Hastert, who served with Cheney in the House for two years (1987-88), let the vice president have it in their private meeting. He said he trusted his close friend Goss, who had performed well at the nasty job of cleaning out an agency filled with critics of the president and his policies….[T]he treatment of Goss has caused speculation in Congress that Bush is making a peace offering to his critics at Langley. A president waging a global war against terrorism can hardly function with an intelligence agency whose employees make off-the-record speeches against his policies, contribute to his political opponents and leak secrets to the media. Was getting rid of Goss the equivalent of a white flag of surrender?

Lord-a-mighty. If Novak, whose column has long been a bulletin board for the hard Right, is faithfully reporting House GOP sentiments, these boys are clearly eating some crazy pills. Most of us poor ignorant folk were under the impression that Goss got dropped because, well, he basically couldn’t find his butt with both hands at the CIA, and was hiring people with a similar disability for the top jobs at Langley. But in the fever swamps of the House GOP, it’s gospel truth that a godless liberal cabal of spooks is trying to end the war on terrorism and destroy W., and with the assistance of that well known liberal-lover Cheney, Bush is caving in and racing into the arms of his enemies. Who knew? The only thing in this column that’s not kinda crazy is its last sentence: “More than difficulties at the CIA need to be resolved as the GOP lurches toward the dreaded midterm elections.” Not much doubt about that.

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