WASHINGTON, Sep. 19
The political things Katrina has changed:
Tom DeLay now says there is no more fat to cut in the federal budget. (We look forward to the President or Scott McClellan -- preferably the former -- being asked about this asap.)
Congressional Republicans now openly question in no uncertain terms the prospect (and political advisability) of pushing Social Security and tax reform.
Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, and Maureen Dowd have really turned against the President now.
Our list of things from last week that have changed for Mr. Bush still mostly holds. LINK
The political things Katrina hasn't changed:
The Democrats still trust the President's motives as far as they can throw Joe Allbaugh.
The press and the Democrats are still demonizing Karl Rove's involvement in anything and everything, expressing shock and horror that a deputy White House chief of staff with wide-ranging applicable experience is helping to oversee the Katrina response.
The press still doesn't get George W. Bush. ("Leading" the way, Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe in Saturday's paper: "But it remains to be seen whether Bush will make a significant shift in his priorities or governing style to meet the continuing challenge in Iraq and the new challenge to his presidency posed by the aftermath of Katrina." LINK
(Note to Mike: Uhm, no, he won't.)
The political media has a chance to lock in some of the gains achieved in public opinion from Katrina coverage (but only by learning the right lessons).
The Republicans in Congress still will simultaneously complain to the White House about the deficit and spending cuts.
Democrats still have the same quality of leadership and political acumen from Leaders Pelosi and Reid (and Chairman Dean) and the same number of positive, clear agenda items to offer the American people.
Nearly every Democrat in Congress is still on the merits in favor of not just stopping the extension of some of the Bush tax cuts, but is in favor of rolling many others back -- but they are still afraid to say so and unable to make their case, despite the fact that polls (continue to) show public opinion on their side.
The Eight Iron Roberts Rules of the Order are still in place: Democrats won't filibuster; Republicans have the votes to confirm; there is no clear reason to be certain that Roberts lives up to President Bush's iron-clad campaign pledge to nominate people in the Scalia/Thomas mold; the right doesn't seem to care about the fact that there is no clear reason to be certain that Roberts lives up to President Bush's iron-clad campaign pledge to nominate people in the Scalia/Thomas mold; The Note can't figure out why the right doesn't seem to care about the fact that there is no clear reason to be certain that Roberts lives up to President Bush's iron-clad campaign pledge to nominate people in the Scalia/Thomas mold; Democrats -- who think Roberts is secretly in the Scalia/Thomas mold -- seem not to care about President Bush's iron-clad campaign pledge to nominate people in the Scalia/Thomas mold or to Notice that he won the election; Democrats are caught between looking obstructionist and beholden to special interests on the one hand, and being punished by the left on the other -- and the media is casting their decisions on the Roberts vote in purely political terms, while the President's choice of Roberts is not being seen that way; and John Roberts still likes golf and wordplay a lot.