Expect partisan wrangling to head higher than fuel prices in the coming months. Wednesday's indictment of House majority leader Tom DeLay, the expected appointment of a Supreme Court nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, and of course the continued fallout from Hurricane Katrina have partisans sharpening their knives.

Troubles related to Katrina are well-documented and it appears both federal and state governments share some responsibility. But with the upcoming 2006 elections, no issue, such as removing FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security, is above the fray.

The two latest issues will be more visible, at least in the coming days and weeks.

DeLay, a Texas Republican, is a political survivor, frequently in the eye of the any political storm and someone Democrats love to hate. And certainly not without reason. DeLay's tactics reportedly leave even seasoned veterans wary of what he might do if crossed. He's been admonished by the House ethics committee on multiple occasions and his enemies might see this as their best chance to get him, despite what his calling the recent charge "one of the weakest and most baseless indictments in American history."

The next issue, of course, will be the Supreme Court nominee. Democrats largely gave John Roberts a pass, but are threatening any number of actions against O'Connor's replacement if they perceive the nominee as too conservative. Sadly, even if the nominee's considered moderate, we expect a certain amount of bitterness and challenge because, as we've said in the past, it's about power.

Republicans hold the upper hand in the White House and Congress and don't want to lose it. Democrats see the President's low approval ratings and the indictment of DeLay as an opportunity to take the GOP down a few pegs in the voters' eyes.

Yep, it's gonna get ugly.

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