In the article of New York Times co-ed columnist, Maureen Dowd dealing with Republicans’ objection of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ under the title, “Mad Men and Mad Women”, I came across an unfamiliar quote from Republican Representative (west Fla), Allen West - ‘like the camel getting his nose under the tent.”
Although, I guess the phrase means ‘poke and pry’ from the context of the following introductory sentence, correct me if I’m wrong. Is this the representative’s coinage, or established cliché? Can I use this phrase for a person who is curious?
“Republicans hate social engineering, unless they’re doing it. Wishing they had the power to repeal the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and get back to the repressed “Mad Men” world they crave, some conservative lawmakers grumpily quizzed upbeat military brass on Friday. “We’re starting to try to conform the military to a behavior, and I remember going through the military, we took behaviors and we formed it to the military,” said Representative Allen West of Florida, warning ominously (and weirdly) that “this could be the camel getting his nose under the tent.”