Definitely over for the big spending, big government faction of the Republican party.
I was going to post today about the idiotic notion being thrown out that this disaster is George Bushes fault for not signing onto the Kyoto protocol (would have cost more than the Iraq war). Or that this is karma asserting itself (a member of the Kennedy family shouldn't talk of bad karma). If that were true, wouldn't the hurricane have destroy the ranch in Crawford? I wonder if the press would have covered the evacuation of Cindy Sheehan? Or better yet, the return of the prophet , Michael Marcavage, who I never heard of... and for that I thank God! But then I came across this, and in an instant recognized that we have crossed a line, pulled a trigger of termultuous change on the political scene. The last straw has just snapped. Here's why.
For the last two years I have been suggesting that the political landscape is ripe for emergence of a strong third party, and not just a flash in the pan like the Perot reform party (political parties based on a strong personality generally don't work - ask Teddy Roosevelt). In the American experience, this means the splitting or break-up of an existing political party, which can siphon off members of the stronger party as well. This has often been due to dissatisfaction with immigration policy and / or economic policy. In case no one has noticed, we have that now. Many republicans are appalled at Bush's resistance to control the borders. The libertarian and fiscal conservatives has been watching with disbelief the spending binge of congress and the president. Take that, and add the spitting contest going on between the Howard Dean DNC and the Clinton / Lieberman led DLC. No, I take that back. If you read the Daily Kos, it's not a spitting contest - - It's War!!!
The last few budgets from the Bush administration pulled money directly from the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA, which was in charge of buttressing the levee that contains Lake Pontchartrain, and carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers. This article states:
"after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars."
The Democrats are going to have a field day with this - and rightly so.
I had in the past defended some of the spending that started after the 9/11 attacks. What ever actions are taken to try and secure the nation from terrorist attacks, be it by a democratic or republican administration, will cost money. I supported the tax cuts as a method of helping bolster the economy, thus getting us out of the recession, which, in turn, provides more revenue to the government. I support the ideals that, even without the WMD issue, more than justify removing Saddam, and breaking the tyrannical dictator / islamo-fascist grip on the whole Middle East region. And there seems to be progress, though the cost is so very high. But the pork barrel spending!!! My god. Look at the recently passed Energy and Transportation bills! Can you justify the destruction of a city for that?
OK. Maybe that is a little hysterical. After all, there is no way to know if the same horrors would not be playing out if the funding of SELA remained in tact. But it's VERY, VERY easy to know that not funding the project sealed New Orleans fate. I mean, unlike the 9/11 attacks, no one in their right mind can say they couldn't see this coming. At least once every hurricane season, for as long as I can remember, it was always... "Uh oh! Is this storm going to destroy New Orleans??? They probably had been taking bets each year in Vegas!
Now Democrats are not exactly known for their spend-thrift tendencies. Kerry's proposed budget was even more massive than Bush's. This is one of the main reasons why I didn't vote for either one. But, if the reporting on this pans out, this disaster is going to settle squarely on George Bush's shoulders.
The Republican party is surely, and deservedly, going to pay dearly for their fiscal mismanagement.