(Washington, D.C., Wednesday) – Savage in-fighting broke out here this week among Republican members of Congress who are demanding a new President.
The skirmishing followed the address delivered March 3 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. The speech left GOP leaders oohing and ahing over Netanyahu’s projection of strong leadership as he made his case against a nuclear deal with Iran. Members, however, quickly went to war over just who should step in to replace Barack Obama.
Mainstream Republicans, leaning ever-so-slightly left on the right edge of the political spectrum, led by House Speaker John Boehner, want to give the White House keys to Netanyahu. Those affiliated with the more extreme Tea Party, camping out just to the right edge of the spectrum in an area popularly known as Crazytown, are pushing for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The prime minister is the real deal,” said Boehner, who blind-sided the White House by orchestrating the Congressional address. “He is a duly-elected head of state who puts the interest of his people first and gets the job done – unlike our current President, who sees himself as a king and pushes his own agenda by royal decree.”
Republican and Tea Party enthusiast U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Texas, is leading the “Puttin’ in the Putin” campaign.
“Putin is a decisive leader,” Cruz said, echoing remarks he made after a 2014 poll showed Tea Party members would vote for Putin over Obama. “Putin takes action without worrying about reactions from anyone else. That’s leadership. Obama is a thinker. Thinking, I can tell you from personal experience, has never accomplished anything.”
Outside the Congressional chambers, other Tea Party regulars added their support for Putin.
“Our Founding Fathers labored tirelessly to install a strong Russian leader as President of the United States of America,” observed Michele Bachmann, former Congresswoman from Minnesota and House Tea Party Caucus chair. “Our Constitution includes explicit provisions for that very thing.”
Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate took a different slant on Putin as U.S. President.
“This is one Mama Bear who wouldn’t mind cuddling with a big, strong Russian Bear in the Oval Bedroom,” Palin tweeted. “Come to Mama.”
Putin professed extreme disinterest in the prospect of becoming leader of the free world. Although he was flattered, he said, he preferred his current position of absolute power to one in which he might need to master the fine art of compromise.
“That does not mean, if I should someday change my mind,” Putin added, “that I could not simply move into the White House and take it – without fear of repercussions.”
Netanyahu, facing an uphill re-election fight back home, took a wait-and-see position.
“We’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with the United States,” Netanyahu said, “and I would not want to place that relationship in jeopardy by rejecting an opportunity to become the next American President. I would definitely give it respectful consideration.”
President Obama said that he would prefer to finish his second term and let his successor be determined in the 2016 presidential election. If forced to make a choice, he said, he would not go with Putin.
“We’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with Israel,” Obama said, “and I would not want to place that relationship in jeopardy by rejecting Prime Minister Netanyahu as our next President. I would definitely give it respectful consideration.”