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At Each Other's Throats

On Monday I mentioned the strained relations between Bush and Republicans in Congress:

The biggest problem, however, doesn't seem to be that the White House is in denial or detached from reality but that it has such a troubled relationship with Republicans in Congress.

Charles Hurt has more on the animosity between the two stirred up by the DPW deal:

"I was offended," Sen. Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, said of Mr. Bush's threat last week to veto legislation aimed at stopping the transfer of port operations to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. He said Mr. Bush "threatened me before I even knew the details of what was involved or whether I was going to vote for the bill or not."

Mr. Lott said his immediate reaction was: "OK, big boy, I'll just vote to override your veto."

He called the White House, he said, to advise administration officials that they'd run afoul of some of their strongest allies in Congress.

"Don't threaten me like that again," said the former majority leader, recounting the conversation with an official he declined to name. "It doesn't make a difference if you're a Republican or a Democrat. Don't put your fist in my face. Where I'm from, we're willing to fight back."

There's obviously no love lost between Lott and the Bush White House, but from what I've seen and heard the sentiment is pretty widely shared. It looks like the White House is going to have to initiate a full blown rapproachement with the GOP Congressional caucus if it wants to turn its political fortunes around.