October 19, 2005
One sure sign that the good guys in Washington are starting to have some effect is that the dinosaurs on the Left have stopped gloating over Bush's missteps and are back to howling at the moon once again. For an exquisitely awful take on efforts by conservative Republicans to restrain and monitor spending on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, see Harold Meyerson in today's Washington Post. In his view, "Congress is ... gunning for the American poor." His column is full of such distortions, but what really galls me is the way he lumps together under the "right-wing" rubric two separate tendencies within the Republican party: the traditional no-nonsense fiscal conservatives, and the new breed of cynical, dogmatic tax-cutters. Meyerson's all-too-common mode of thinking is what poses the biggest obstacle to achieving true market-oriented socio-economic reform in this country. Sadly, I fear that the rhetoric of "compassionate conservtism" voiced by President Bush is backfiring by playing into the hands of leftist cynics. The rebuilding New Orleans should be an opportunity to promote private-sector development and the associated values of free enterprise, freeing the city's poor residents from decades of soul-deadening dependency on welfare checks. Meyerson wants to keep those folks tied to the Democratic "plantation," it would seem.
Virginia's Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte is currently touring the disaster area, and has taken a firm stand in favor of caution in spending on Hurricane Katrina recovery; see his Web site. He deserves high praise for doing so.
UPDATE: The Coburn Amendment. I saw Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn speaking to a group of young Republicans on C-SPAN the other day, and was really impressed. He is definitely one of the "good guys" on the Republican side, sincerely and deeply committed to fiscal prudence and reform. He recently introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill that would "transfer funding from a wasteful pork project in Alaska to the much-needed repair and reconstruction of the 'Twin Spans' bridge in Louisiana." See his Web site, via Instapundit. Hear, hear!