The Moose notes that the elephant has sold his soul to the company store.
The past few weeks have been very good for the captains of industry. With the passage of the class action bill and the movement on the bankruptcy legislation, the corporate masters of the GOP must be very pleased.
Not so, the conservatives. Things are not going well for social security privatization. And the White House has even sent signals that they would accept a de facto tax increase by raising the limit on social security taxes to salvage their scheme. Fratricidal conservative warfare is on the verge of breaking out over who lost privatization. And the right's leader in the House, Bugman DeLay is operating under an ethics cloud as daily revelations weaken his reign. The approval ratings of the Republican Congress are dropping like a rock.
Conservatives are left to wax nostalgic about the long lost halcyon days of free trade, deficit elimination and welfare reform - the Clinton years. Republicans have severely underestimated the popularity of FDR's social security program. Even the Bushies have embraced big government conservatism. There can be no joy among the propeller heads at Cato and Heritage.
The Abramoff vast right wing gaming conspiracy is also casting light on the moral bankruptcy of the conservatives . Various luminaries of the conservative cause are caught up in this web of scandal. The Moose saw this coming in the mid-nineties when the allure of cash and junkets inspired the Beltway right to embrace the cause of the sweatshops in the Marianas Islands.
Meanwhile, W.'s budget proposals are coming under attack from both the left and the right. Even Republican Governors realize that the federal government must pick up more of the tab for Medicaid. The era of big government is back with a vengeance as the President vows to veto any rollback of his Medicare drug bill that was a boon to the drug industry.
And on the foreign policy front, the Administration will likely be focused on the "liberal"effort of nation building, international cooperation and promoting soft power in the second term. Karen Hughes has signed on to provide a "kindler and gentler" face on the Bushie foreign policy. Expect some on the right to become ansty about this approach.
The only thing that W. can deliver is judges. Once there is a vacancy on the court expect a choice that will clearly please the right. There is not much else that he can do for the right these days, and it will critical to reward them for their efforts in '04 and to generate interest in '06. If Rehnquist departs there will be immense pressure for him to be replaced by Scalia.
While the right may be restive in the coming months, there is bliss in the boardrooms. --