Saturday, September 17, 2005

Good News: Will the GOP be Katrina’s Biggest Casualty

The Heritage Foundation

Yes, President Bush gave a good speech Thursday night but no amount of inspiring rhetoric can obscure the fact that Hurricane Katrina may well have drowned the Republican Party as a credible vehicle of conservative reform.

Why? Consider House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s stunning assertion the day before Bush spoke from New Orleans that 11 years of GOP control of Congress has “pared [government] down pretty good.”

Here’s what he said when a puzzled reporter asked if Delay really was suggesting there is no fat to cut in the federal budget to help pay Katrina recovery costs: "My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet."


The GOP’s prospective fall could be much more swift than the Democrats in 1994, however, because of the Internet. Then, the mainstream media’s lock on the news meant it took years for enough voters to finally get the message that it was time for a change in Washington.


Judging by the response to my recent column here on asking if the time has come for conservatives to dump the GOP, word about Republican hypocrisy in the nation’s capitol is being heard loud and clear beyond the Beltway.

The “time to dump the GOP” column generated more than 200 emails, many brimming with anger, disbelief and disgust. Less than a dozen came from people saying the GOP is just fine. The vast majority said they either have already or are planning to switch to the Libertarian Party or Constitution Party.


Political parties in America don’t always die quickly. It took several elections before the demise of the Federalists and the Whigs became obvious to all but the most die-hard supporters. Thanks to the microchip, the GOP might not have long to linger once the base splinters.

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