10/02/2005

Daily Kos: Newsweek: the GOP's "Power Outage"

Republicans are so efficient, it took them only 10 years in power to become as bloated and corrupt as Democrats had become after 40 years in control.. To paraphrase David Mamet, the Republicans became what they beheld.

"Newsweek: the GOP's 'Power Outage'
by kos
Sun Oct 2nd, 2005 at 11:38:47 CDT

Republicans are so efficient, it took them only 10 years in power to become as bloated and corrupt as Democrats had become after 40 years in control

Reaching for inspiration, one [DeLay] acolyte compared the Speaker to Robert E. Lee and DeLay to Stonewall Jackson: when the latter was wounded, the former still won a crucial battle. But another member elicited wry laughter by pointing out that Jackson had been shot, accidentally, by his own troops. Some backbenchers were gloomy and resentful, but unwilling to say so on the record, for fear that the vindictive DeLay might survive. 'Leadership has become ossified and hopelessly out of touch,' lamented one such member. 'They only care about one thing, hanging onto their own power. I'm not ready to take them on, at least not yet, not unless I have to!' [...]

Bush and his fellow Republicans have little margin for error. Three forces--sky-high gasoline prices, the massive costs of rebuilding the Gulf Coast and ever-gloomier public assessments of the war in Iraq--have combined to weaken Bush's reputation as a strong leader, and leave him vulnerable to the kind of second-term fiascoes that tend to befall all presidents: think Ronald Reagan and Iran-contra, or Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Indeed, polltaker Frank Luntz, who helped develop the "Contract With America" message that swept Republicans to power in 1994, was on the Hill last week warning the party faithful that they could lose both the House and the Senate in next year's congressional elections.

The Republicans' power outage is real--and the historical irony is as vast as Texas. Beginning in the 1950s, the Democratic Party of Texans Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn built a congressional machine of unrivaled power. But starting in the '80s, led by a firebrand named Newt Gingrich, Republicans led a revolt from below in the name of smaller government and an ethically cleansed Congress. In 1989 Newt & Co. forced out Democratic Speaker Jim Wright--a Texan, too, who resigned over charges that he profited improperly from book sales--and five years later the GOP took control of the House after a Biblical 40 years in the wilderness. But it took the Republicans only 10 years to become yet another ruling party beset by charges of profligate spending, bloated government and corruption--a party led by two Texans, Bush and DeLay, who don't particularly care whether they are beloved outside their inner circle. To paraphrase David Mamet, the Republicans became what they beheld.
Daily Kos: Newsweek: the GOP's "Power Outage":

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