Nor is it just the White House that is contaminated by it: when senior Republican leaders in Congress, who have presided over an orgy of public spending and pork-barrel, claimed that there was no fat left to cut in federal spending and that “after 11 years of Republican majority we’ve pared it down pretty good”, it was clear that the inmates had indeed taken over the asylum.
There is now a distinctive fin de regime stink about Republican Washington. Karl Rove, the President’s eminence grise, has been called to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer’s name. The cronyism of Ms Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court is now the rule in DC, not the exception: for example, Julie Myers, another inexperienced Bush lawyer, has been nominated to run the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. She has no convincing qualifications for this post, a vital one in an age of terror; but she is the niece of retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers and the wife of the Department of Homeland Security secretary’s chief of staff.
This guy is right: Bush’s form of “conservatism” bears no resemblance to the term as conventionally defined… and this is likely to come back to bite him in 2006/2008.