Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

GWB’s TVA

David Brooks has measured the ambition of President Bush’s Katrina recovery plan, further elaborated here, here, and here. I think that Brooks has hit the nail on the head: this is GWB’s true experiment in compassionate conservatism. Traditional Republicans and Democrats have different reasons to be concerned, but I think Bush will seize the moment and push this plan very hard.

Update: Stephen Moore has many serious reservations about the plan, some more convincing than others. He can’t, for example, be serious in comparing the costs of rebuilding Chicago, San Francisco, and Galveston in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the costs of cleaning up toxic muck and restoring transportation and communications infrastructure today. But waste, fraud, and mismanagement are a sufficiently serious risk that the President ought to appoint someone--please let’s not call him a czar and give him another layer of bureaucracy--to spearhead the reconstruction effort. I nominate J.C. Watts, whose support was central to the Bush Administration’s domestic policy initiatives in 2001, who has demonstrated the capacity to work well with non-profit and faith-based groups, and against whom it would be next to impossible to play the race card.

Update #2: The folks at the Heritage Foundation have some good ideas about how to make this program work.

Last update: Paul Mirengoff’s measured comments are always worth reading, as are Ken Masugi’s.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Bush has at least approached this more intelligently than almost any Democrat would. But does he have the smarts and the toughness to stand firm for his compassionate-conservative principles
when the Landrieus and the Nagins and the Jesse Jacksons start screeching about every little reform, or demand for accountability, Bush proposes? I’m highly skeptical.

The Democrats "own" social welfare in this country. If you’re going to play in their sandbox, better know what you’re doing. So far -- see "No Child Left Behind" and Social Security reform -- Bush’s record is distinctly unimpressive.

Good intentions go only so far.

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