OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Monday, October 03, 2005 :::

Their's to Lose

John Fund looks at how the GOP could lose control of Congress in 2006, including this turning point:

The loudest warning was sounded in November, 2003. At the behest of the White House, Mr. Hastert and then-Majority Leader DeLay held a floor vote open for three hours early one morning while they browbeat GOP members to pass a prescription drug benefit that was the largest expansion of an entitlement program since LBJ's Great Society. "It was a watershed event, the moment when Republicans who stood for limited government realized they were the enemy of their own leadership," Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told me.

Since then the GOP's love affair with big government has intensified. This summer Congress passed a $286 billion highway bill stuffed with 6,373 pork-barrel projects inserted by individual members, many so marginal they have drawn national ridicule. All this was abetted or even led by a Bush White House that has yet to veto a single bill and whose officials have apparently adapted the old New Deal slogan "tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect" into merely "spend and spend."

Actually, it was cut taxes and spend even more. A half-assed approach if there ever was one. But is this erosion of principle shaping the presidential sweepstakes?

All this leaves a vacuum for straight-talking leadership in the GOP. It's safe to say that for the 2008 presidential race the shaky record of Washington Republicans enhances the stature of non-Beltway Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and Massachusetts' Gov. Mitt Romney. Virginia's Sen. George Allen, a former governor who has been increasingly critical of his party's congressional leadership, is now appealing to voters as an outsider.

But, ironically, the candidate who may benefit the most from the current discontent among Republicans is Sen. John McCain, a Beltway media darling who has often been unpopular among conservatives for his apostate views. But since Mr. McCain doesn't depend on the Bush White House or his party's leadership for favors, he is liberated to blast away at their abandonment of principle.

McCain rising, Allen rushing to the "outside" and...Mitt Romney? Well, the last Republican governor of Massachusetts to become president (upon the death of Warren Harding) was Calvin Coolidge. Not gonna happen.

The slate is still in flux, and the congressional GOP's drift will only make things more unpredictable. If they can right themselves (in more ways than one), then the McCain boomlet may fade. But I'm still looking outside the current crop to South Carolina...and its governor, Mark Sanford. You know, he was a McCain campaign chair in the 2000 SC primary...hmmm.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/03/2005 1 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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