Robert Novak; GOP in rebellion against Bush (W/poll)
by liebermanlives, Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 06:04:42 AM EST
First, with the ports deal, Republicans feel that Bush is wholly responsible for the current mess, because he kept the deal in the dark, and refused to tell them anything about it. That lack of insight and trust, has caused such a backlash, that many in the party are "seething" with anger. Adding insult to injury, language de-funding the ports deal will be written into upcoming emergency supplemental. Bush would have to veto Katrina funding, homeland security, and the troops, or else, suffer the humiliation of undoing the deal he promised would go forward.
Secondly, Katrina. This rebellion is mostly headed by Louisiana conservatives, that have stated on numerous occasions that Bush has not done enough to help the people of the region. Bush's visit to the region, comes 6 months of bungling that threatens political catastrophe for state Republicans. Bush has come bearing money for the people, but it may be too little, too late. The governments post-hurricane performance has been a mess, and Republicans who control the state's congressional delegation of the US congress, might pay a price with their constituents.
Continued mismanagement, has resulted in outrageous spending patterns, beginning with the ridiculous prices the government paid on order to house Katrina refugees aboard cruise ships. Even more outrageous was the cost of the trailors intended to be used to house other victims, $60,000 dollars per unit-- enough to build permanent modular evacuees, so that many remain idle to this day.
And finally, the budget. Sen. Tom Coburn is taking on the administration for its budgeting proposals. Coburn will zero in on Bush's "Crime victims fund", which is funded through criminal fines, fees and forfeitures, and thus pays for itself. Coburn is accusing the administration with playing a "budget shell game", by zeroing out the fund, in order to make room for more spending elsewhere, but planning to restore the fund later on.
Coburn's hearings start today, and will include victims of the Oklahoma City bombings. They are significant because they could be politically damaging for Bush if anyone notices them. More and more conservatives seem emboldened to snipe at Bush, whose poor efforts at reaching out to Congress, have not helped his overall cause.
So, Bush is now got a total rebellion on his hands. This can do nothing but help Democrats as they try to get the majority back. It also can't help when conservatives like Novak write columns like these. I've included a poll on what Democrats should do.