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House Republicans promise Taliban insurgent tactics, blame Pelosi

February 5, 2009 |  8:27 am

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Editors at the Hotline, an insider political newsletter published by the National Journal, were pressing the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee on how best to position the GOP for the 2010 elections. The choices: Cooperate with popular President Obama or shun his policies, as they did in unison in rejecting Obama's mega-billion-dollar stimulus plan.

That's when Texas Rep. Pete Sessions compared House Republicans to the Taliban, the fundamentalist Muslim terrorist group that has targeted U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Sessions' staff insists he wasn't lauding the Taliban's goals, only their tactics. See what you think:

Insurgency we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban. And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban -- I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban -- no, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their front line message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House  leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with.

Criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for forcing the stimulus package to the floor without committee hearings or any input from the GOP, the Dallas congressman said her action drew a line in the sand and that Republicans were picking up the gauntlet to become the party of loyal opposition.

I think insurgency is a mindset and an attitude that we're going to have to search for and find ways to get our message out and to be prepared to see things for what they are, rather than trying to do something about them, I think what's happened is that the line was drawn in the sand.... We either work together, or we're going to find a way to get our message out.

As MSNBC's First Read put it, at least he didn't use a Nazi metaphor.

--Johanna Neuman

Photo: Jeff Mitchell / Reuters

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