02/27/2005: The Cat Herders
The Washington Post had this Gem of an article about our very own Dennis Hastert (We, residing at Dennis Hastert Corner, are always interested in all things "Denny") and Bill Frist:
"GOP Odd Couple Reflect Chambers They Lead: Their Cohesion Could Greatly Affect Bush Agenda.
....House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) share many goals and, by most accounts, genuinely like each other. But in style, ambition and operating methods, they could hardly be more different....
...Republicans dominate the House, where Hastert has moved quietly but aggressively to consolidate his power, rarely bothering to explain his rationale or involve Democrats in making decisions. In the Senate, Democrats still hold enough seats to block Republicans on most issues, sometimes by using the filibuster. Their strength forces Frist to cajole, explain and persuade almost constantly, either before television cameras or secluded in his office with a handful of fellow senators.
Frist's job is "like herding cats," said James A. Thurber, director of American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. Mainly because of half a dozen moderate GOP senators, he said, "it's very hard to keep the caucus together in the Senate."
As for Hastert and his lieutenants, Thurber said, "it's brilliant in the House how they've centralized power."
A comparison of the two men, and the current state of the institutions they lead, suggests both the power and the limits of one-party rule...."
To read more, go to the article link above.
Karen on 02.27.05 @ 05:17 AM CST