Well, it looks like the "Gang of 500," who fancies itself so ahead of the curve, is finally catching on to what we've known for the past year. Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is in serious trouble.
ABC News' The Note has this today:
"Still, there is a growing emperor's-new-clothes sensibility to the words of some conservatives — still mostly quietly. More loudly, Exhibit A today is Brendan Miniter's opinionjournal.com essay, which takes the Republican Party to task for bringing back the welfare state. It leads with Leader DeLay's Waterloo quote about the lack of excess spending in the federal budget. It also predicts doom and gloom for 2006 and 2008 if something doesn't change and quick."
Miniter's writes that "Hurricane Katrina has peeled back the lid on Republican rule and many Americans aren't happy with what they see." In the wake of Katrina, he says, Republicans in Congress have brought back the welfare state, at a time when their leader is claiming victory over budget pork. Katrina only exposed the problem, but, Miniter argues, Republicans have been "kidding themselves for years" that they are the party of small government and fiscal conservatism.
Contrary to what DeLay said, the money is still being spent. The budget is more bloated than ever. But...it's not being spent on the people or infrastructure or disaster relief and prevention. It's not being spent where it should be. It's being paid out in paybacks to oil companies. It's being spent in payoffs to credit card companies and big donors. The mismanagement we saw in Katrina's wake was a direct result of cronyism and the style of pay-to-play politics that have become all too common.
The conservative Wall Street Journal goes so far as to say:
"What we're seeing in the wake of Katrina is that despite all the winks and assurances to the contrary as they passed the energy and transportation bills, Republicans in Congress don't know how to control spending and are at a loss as to why they even should. That's one way to govern. But if Republicans no longer believe in smaller government, why not put the Democrats back in charge?"