THE TALIBAN WING OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY…. From time to time in recent years, liberals have identified the “Taliban wing” of the Republican Party — those conservatives who reject church-state separation, taking marching orders from James Dobson, and wonder why the government doesn’t do more to promote and endorse their vision of Christianity.

The phrase is generally considered offensive by most Republicans, and it’s easy to understand why. Indeed, no U.S. political contingent wants to be compared to the Taliban.

It came as something of a surprise, then, to see a leading House Republican make the comparison unprompted.

Frustrated by a lack of bipartisan outreach from House Democratic leaders, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said House Republicans — who voted unanimously last week against the economic plan pushed by President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — will pitch a “positive, loyal opposition” to the proposal. The group, he added, should also “understand insurgency” in implementing efforts to offer alternatives.

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting yesterday with Hotline editors. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes. And these Taliban — I’m not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that’s not what we’re saying. I’m saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with.”

He added that if Democrats don’t give the minority party more “options or opportunities,” Republicans “will then become an insurgency.”

I see. So, a couple of weeks ago, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina compared the Republican Party to “freedom fighters” fighting against a “slide toward socialism.” This week, a House GOP lawmaker and chairman of the NRCC compared the Republican Party to an insurgency.

We’ve gone from the Contra wing of the Republican Party to the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.

Asked to clarify, Sessions said he wasn’t drawing a direct connection between the GOP and the Taliban. “I simply said one can see that there’s a model out there for insurgency,” Sessions explained.

Why don’t negations between the White House and congressional Republicans produce more results? Perhaps because a few too many congressional Republicans are stark raving mad.

Update: MSNBC’s “First Read” raises a very relevant point: “Imagine what Drudge would do if a Democrat said this.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.