Anger in Congress Could Cost The President Some Allies And Curb His Legislative InfluenceIt starts out as a rehash of the congressional reaction to the FBI raid and Speaker Dennis Hastert's charge that the report that Speaker Dennis Hastert himself was a subject of the federal corruption probe was leaked to punish him.
In the middle of the WSJ article is the box you see on the left. It's a rather anemic list of incidents where the congress has "stood up" to Bush. Not much there. And then this puzzling conclusion:
"For an administration that needs allies in order to come back," the Justice Department's actions are "dumbfounding," says David Gergen, a veteran of Republican and Democratic administrations.So the question is, is this just a charade by the house Republicans to distance themselves from Bush with an issue that really has little significance and is the WSJ giving them a helping hand?
Mr. Bush has, in some ways, aggravated congressional Republicans since the beginning of his presidency, when he sought strict loyalty from legislative partisans, arguing that his success and theirs were inseparable. Now, many fear that they -- and not Mr. Bush -- will pay an electoral price for backing what is now an unpopular war in Iraq, and the president's plunging approval ratings.
Yesterday afternoon, House Republicans gathered in a windowless basement room for a private meeting aimed at sorting through the roller coaster of the past few days. They left the meeting carrying talking points from Republican leaders: "No one is above the law," the paper said. "Just as no branch of government is above the Constitution."