American Spectator Distances Itself From Bush

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Wow. This is a bit of a surprise. American Spectator is an extremely conservative mag and a very loyal foot solider. For them to break ranks at this point means there’s definitely something afoot.

Political independents take note. With many upset at Bush’s policies, your time is fast approaching.

Publicly, the White House will tell you that it intends to push ahead with two of its big legislative issues throughout the fall: making permanent the first term tax cuts and Social Security reform.

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Congressional committee sources on both sides of Capitol Hill predict tough slogging on anything of policy consequence. “Social Security is dead as far as my chairman is concerned. So are the tax cuts,” says a Ways and Means staffer of Chairman Bill Thomas.

Before hurricane season wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast and in Washington, the thinking was that Thomas was poised to take up a major tax bill that might feature several critical components of the Bush Administration’s Social Security reform. Now those plans appear to have dimmed considerably.

According to one school of thought, some GOP tax policy changes might have contributed to a more market-oriented approach to reconstruction efforts in the Katrina recovery. Instead, Republicans were stunned to hear about programs that read as if cribbed from the Clinton Administration.

Although Republicans on the Hill are left with a bit of wiggle room to make adjustments to the Bush proposals, they will need political cover if they are to successfully navigate a path made difficult by the Bush team’s allowing the media and Democrats to paint the GOP into a corner.

Is a political hurricane brewing or is this a minor tropical storm?

Only time will tell.

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