Cracks in Republican Party Unity?

As the economy continues to sink, big trouble.  There may be a fissure developing in the Republican Party.  That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.

There are tense times right now in America.  As the stock market continues to fall, unemployment continues to rise, and Americans don't know how bad things are going to get economically.

The reasons for the current recession have been stated time and time again.  The high-tech bubble burst, and the Fed made a huge mistake by keeping interest rates too high for too long.

But now Republicans realize that President Bush has to provide leadership.  Some in the GOP think he's doing that, but others, like Bill Kristol whom we'll talk with in a few moments, think the president is not doing the job.

And Republican Congressman Dan Burton is angry with Mr. Bush because he believes the president is stonewalling the campaign-finance investigation.  Mr. Burton will be here as well.

So there's trouble in the Republican Party, and morale is sinking.  Not good for the GOP.

Incredibly, the big story for many Americans continues to be Gary Condit, not the economy.  While it is true that Condit's behavior is clearly a distraction, it's also true that he is insignificant compared to our wallets.

It's time for President Bush to step up and push for a capital-gains tax cut.  Such a move would help the stock market and provide more capital for businesses to resume expanding.  If Mr. Bush thinks a $600 tax cut is going to stimulate this battered economy, well, I don't think so.

Americans generally like President Bush.  All the polls say that.  And most Americans are fair people, willing to give him a chance.  I include myself in that category.  But there's no question that action must be taken to stop this recession and get the nation moving again.

The president and Congress are back from a long vacation.  Hey, people, time to get busy.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."  A Georgia state representative named Dorothy Pelote stood up in the Statehouse and said, "I want you to know that I can communicate with the dead."  She later told "The Macon Telegraph" she had been speaking to Chandra Levy.

Ms. Pelote has been in the House for nine years, and her secretary says she will have no further comment, which might be ridiculous considering the comment she's already made.

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