Late Friday, everyone from Sens. Mel Martinez and Tom Coburn to GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee were criticizing the Bush Administration for not offsetting Katrina spending with broader spending cuts across the government.
Martinez went so far as to say that perhaps the White House should pull plans to press for making permanent tax cuts that were in the offing for this legislative session.
The refusal by Capitol Hill Republicans to fall in line behind a White House trying to gain some traction politically on just about any topic — including the Supreme Court nominations — is indicative of a troubled majority looking at going home in the coming months to tip off re-election campaigns that now look vastly different from what they appeared to be even two months ago.
“Then we had Iraq, but we also were bringing home big pieces of legislation like transportation and energy, a trade bill and, looking ahead, tax cuts and a Supreme Court nominee that was going to energize our base,” says a House Republican strategist. “Now we have Iraq, a seeming failure in responding to Katrina, and infighting in a range of issues. We’re not in a good position.”
The White House almost certainly will not let Capitol Hill dictate terms on the tax cut issue, particularly if it appears others with influence over the economy — read, the Fed — aren’t going to radically reshape current policy or positions. “We need to move ahead with the legislative agenda we set forth,” says the strategist. “Events like Katrina shouldn’t change our approach. We are going to need a more robust economy to offset whatever happens in the South over the next months. Tax cuts could help us there.”p> HERE COMES THE JUDGE br> Meanwhile, White House insiders tacitly approved of current and former aides to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales coming forward to begin a defense of their boss. More than a half dozen former White House Counsel Office staffers have begun pushing back again raging — sometimes irrational — opposition to Gonzales as a potential Supreme Court nominee. /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?