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Washington Extra - Sharp tongues

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:57 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - Democrats are trying a bit of divide-and-conquer strategy on Capitol Hill.

As another budget showdown looms, they are employing a tactic of trying to turn the Tea Party and the rest of the Republican ranks against each other.

It was made starkly clear when Senator Charles Schumer told fellow Democrats to portray Republican House Speaker John Boehner as boxed in by the Tea Party, and to criticize his spending cuts as extreme. "I always use the word extreme," Schumer said, according to The New York Times' blog "The Caucus."

That strategy is not going to work very well now that its cover is blown.

Republicans were not about to let that slide. They accused Democrats of secretly wanting a government shutdown.

"With No Plan to Force Washington to Live Within Its Means, Democrats Dig In With 'Extreme' Rhetoric to Mask Tacit Support for a Government Shutdown," blared the headline on a National Republican Congressional Committee e-mail.

Another kind of sharp-tongued creature is on the loose in New York City -- the cobra at the Bronx Zoo that has turned into quite the silver-tongued tweeter of its essssssscapades at

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