John Fund sticks the knife in and twists:
With Rep. Tom DeLay’s forced departure as majority leader, Newt Gingrich says, the Republican Party stands at a crossroads as important as any it has faced since nominating Ronald Reagan for president in 1980. “It must decide if it is going to be a party that fundamentally reforms government or one that merely presides over existing institutions and spends more money,” he says. Which path the GOP now takes may determine not only how much damage it suffers in next year’s elections but also whether it can hold the White House in 2008…
The loudest warning was sounded in November, 2003. At the behest of the White House, Mr. Hastert and then-Majority Leader DeLay held a floor vote open for three hours early one morning while they browbeat GOP members to pass a prescription drug benefit that was the largest expansion of an entitlement program since LBJ’s Great Society. “It was a watershed event, the moment when Republicans who stood for limited government realized they were the enemy of their own leadership,” Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told me.
Since then the GOP’s love affair with big government has intensified. This summer Congress passed a $286 billion highway bill stuffed with 6,373 pork-barrel projects inserted by individual members, many so marginal they have drawn national ridicule. All this was abetted or even led by a Bush White House that has yet to veto a single bill and whose officials have apparently adapted the old New Deal slogan “tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect” into merely “spend and spend.”
The truth hurts.