Beginning of the End?
Alarm is spreading pretty rapidly among the righties. They recognize the political tsunami Katrina brought in her wake, and the usual prescriptions have backfired: blaming the victims, blaming the state and local government, lying about the facts, and so on. Now the plan seems to be to find the scapegoat and crush him, and of course Michael Brown, Kerik-like in his incompetence, is a welcome target.
But despite dire fear on the left that the populace will never wake up, and arrogance on the right that they will never be out of power, fissures among the GOP (David Brooks excoriating the incompetence of the President, for example) and more importantly, among the red-state NASCAR folks who watched the unspinable horror unfold in real time, suggest the opposite.
I think Jonah Goldberg, of all people, hits the central problem:
For years, Democrats complained that we needed to spend more on "first-responders." I took this for what it often was: an attempt to pad municipal budgets with pork. But, one must concede it wasn't entirely about that either. And while it's likely this disaster would have presented many if not most of the challenges we're seeing this week, even if all that money had been spent as the Democrats wanted, it remains hard to dispute that it would have been better spent than much of the garbage in recent budgets.
I'm the worst at predicting what Americans will do, but this looks to me like the catastrophe that may eventually end the GOP's dominance.