WASHINGTON (CAP) - High-profile Republicans, hoping to restore relevance to their floundering party, have laid out plans for a strategic summit but can't agree on a place to hold it, according to sources close to the group.
The conflict is primarily between recently feuding Republican luminaries Gen. Colin Powell and former Vice President Dick Cheney, with Powell wanting to meet "somewhere austere, to reflect the difficult times facing many Americans," and Cheney saying that "if he expects me to drag my keister into a goddamn Holiday Inn Express, he's even more of a milksop than I thought he was."
Cheney had apparently been lobbying to hold the meeting in the secret vice presidential bunker, which as a former vice president he retains lifetime access to. But other members of the group reminded him that current VP Joe Biden recently let the bunker's location slip while speaking at the Gridiron Club dinner in Washington.
"Someday I'm going to shoot that guy in the face," responded Cheney, adding, after an awkward two-minute silent pause, "Umm ... joke."
Republican strategist Karl Rove and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, each wants to hold the meeting in his own D.C. office. "Rove's office is all the way across town," noted Gingrich. "Why should I have to be the one to sit in traffic?"
"When he's run the free world for eight years, we can meet in his office," responded Rove. "Um - and when I say 'run the free world' I mean advise the guy who's run the free world. Sorry, Mr. Cheney."
Meanwhile, the session's slated keynote speaker, radio personality Rush Limbaugh, has insisted that wherever it's held, it be within half a block from a 24-hour pharmacy. Republican unrest over this issue has elicited a pointed response from the Democratic Party.
"I think the American people should be asking themselves, what does the inability of the Republicans to come together on this say about them as a party?" said Democratic National Committee Chairman Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia. "And the answer is, it says that they're a bunch of weenies."
Then he chuckled to himself for a full minute before saying, "Sorry, it feels like I've been waiting forever to be able to say that."
For his part, Powell says the last thing the party needs if it hopes to get back on its feet is infighting over trivial issues. Told of this, Cheney responded, "Oh, is he still a Republican? I thought he had converted to the party of magical faerie wusses."
Limbaugh echoed Cheney's sentiment, saying, "I don't think we really need Gen. Powell for this meeting. Maybe that night he can put a bone through his nose and dance around a bonfire with his friend President Obama instead."
When asked if he thought that comment could be classified as racist, he said, "I wasn't referring to the fact that they were black. It's just like the mainstream media to try to spin it that way.
"That said, they are a couple of minstrelly Negroes, aren't they?" Limbaugh added.
As to what the Republicans plan to discuss should they ever agree on a location for the summit, Cheney has hinted at a plan involving the recently developed super-laser that can burn as hot as the sun and which can incinerate a man in seconds.
"I say we start with Arlen Specter," said Cheney.
- CAP News Staff