Speakers of Houses Face Similar Rebellions
LoMonte, Frank, The Florida Times Union
Separated at birth -- Tom Murphy and Newt Gingrich?
Perhaps that's a stretch, but the two speakers, the
Georgia version and his D.C. counterpart, find themselves
facing twin rebellions.
If the gods of politics believe in dispensing their justice
poetically, surely that is why the two hated adversaries,
Democrat Murphy and Republican Gingrich, find their fates
shackled together this summer.
Even though both appear secure for the moment, their
predicaments illustrate how hard it is in today's fractious
political climate to hold together a bare, working majority.
Gingrich, who represents Cobb County's 6th District in
Congress, and Murphy, a state House delegate from Bremen, are
party animals. They're inside players who thrive on the hero
worship of their followers, but flounder when their orders are
For Gingrich, the week's crisis played out publicly, with a
meeting of about 50 House members in various stages of
disaffection over the budget and the much-delayed Midwest
disaster aid bill.
The sharks began approaching from the left, moderate
Republicans wondering how their leaders let the president
position them against flood victims just 18 months after they
were similarly snookered into shutting down the government.
But then, storm clouds started gathering on the right. GOP
Young Turks agree the disaster aid showdown was mishandled, but
for different reasons; they want their leaders to take a more
confrontational stand with the White House and stick to it.
Murphy's tableau unfurled behind closed doors at a strategy
session of House Democrats in Macon. …