No, that unnamed staffer was talking about having a "cataclysmic fight to the death" with none other than the Congress of the United States.
If the Democrats take over and try to investigate the White House, that is. More below ...
If lame-duck Presidents are to achieve anything, they often have to look for ways to go around Congress, especially when it is in the hands of the other party. Clinton used Executive Orders and his bully pulpit to encourage school uniforms, impose ergonomic rules on employers and prevent mining, logging and development on 60 million acres of public land. White House press secretary Tony Snow says Bush may take the same bypass around Capitol Hill. "He told all of us, 'Put on your track shoes. We're going to run to the finish,'" Snow said. "He's going to be aggressive on a lot of fronts. He's been calling all his Cabinet secretaries and telling them, 'You tell me administratively everything you can do between now and the end of the presidency. I want to see your to-do list and how you expect to do it.' We're going to try to be as ambitious and bold as we can possibly be."
In fact, when it comes to deploying its Executive power, which is dear to Bush's understanding of the presidency, the President's team has been planning for what one strategist describes as "a cataclysmic fight to the death" over the balance between Congress and the White House if confronted with congressional subpoenas it deems inappropriate. The strategist says the Bush team is "going to assert that power, and they're going to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court on every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation."
Um ... wow. That is stunning in its breathtaking arrogance and destructiveness. "Every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation." Well, don't that just sum it all up right there.
I could go on and on about how wrong that is, how un-American, how against the basic framework laid down by the Founding Fathers ... but I don't want to go on too long here ... you guys can take care of that in comments.
But what I do want to say is this: November 7th may be a very big day on the political calendar, but you have just been served notice. If you didn't know it before, you should know it now. The fight does not end on November 7th, it begins in earnest on that day.
This fight will have to be waged across multiple fronts at all times. From efforts like Major Danby's FINGER project to all the liberal blogs to every Democratic politician, all of us will be needed to fight this White House's unprecedented power grab. The Bush White House has laid down the marker: no compromise, no discussion. They don't want to hear from Congress, and the fact that the country will have voted against them means nothing to them. They are not interested in the will of the people; they are interested in the triumph of the will of George W. Bush.
So, work hard through Election Day (and for god's sake get Joe Lieberman out of there!), take a day or two off, and then get ready for the real work of taking this country back.
You've been warned.