When The Whip Comes Down

Capitol Hill Democrats are not the only ones infuriated by the pit-bull manner of House Republican whip Newt Gingrich. G.O.P. minority leader Bob Michel can scarcely hide his irritation with his feisty subordinate. In press conferences last week, Gingrich, a member of the budget-summit conference group, lashed out at "tax-and-spend Democrats" and said it was impossible to deal with them as if they were "responsible people." Michel, charged by the White House with the task of working out cooperative budget negotiations, seethed at this torching of bipartisan goodwill. Visitors to Michel's office say that when Gingrich pops up breathing fire and...