Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sessions, Stimulus and the Taliban

Original Link:

By Bernie Becker

Representative Pete Sessions (Photo: Jeff Mitchell/Reuters)It’s not every day you see a public official say his party has picked up a pointer or two from the Taliban.

But that’s what happened Wednesday, when Representative Pete Sessions of Texas talked about what he also called Republicans’ “positive, loyal opposition” to the stimulus package.

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Mr. Sessions said in an interview with Hotline, part of “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes.”

If Democrats, who have promised a new era of bipartisanship, “do not give us those options or opportunities, then we will then become insurgency of a nature to where we do those things that are necessary to making sure the American public knows what we think the correct answer is,” added Mr. Sessions, the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “So we either work together, or we’re going to find a way to get our message out.”

According to Hotline, Mr. Sessions and an aide stressed that they were not comparing Republicans to the Taliban, only saying models already existed for insurgency and that the party needed to adopt more strategic thinking.

Still, not surprisingly, Mr. Sessions’ comments received a stern rebuke from his Democratic counterpart, Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

“NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions’ remark comparing his own party’s tactics during the economic recovery debate to those of a terrorist group in Afghanistan is truly shocking,” said Mr. Van Hollen. “While House Republican leaders profess to seek bipartisanship, they are comparing their tactics to the violent tactics used by the Taliban insurgency.”

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