Oh, how House Republicans must miss Tom DeLay. There have been a series of embarrassments for the House leadership since DeLay stepped down as Majority Leader in September. The decision to pull their own 2007 budget from consideration on the House floor yesterday "was the latest and clearest illustration of the Republicans' difficulties in holding lawmakers together with a crucial election approaching," the New York Times wrote.
The aforementioned budget would extend Bush's costly tax cuts, add $3 trillion to the national debt over five years, and cut billions of dollars for education, job training and veterans health care. When conservative Republicans tried to enact even harsher budget rules limiting Congress's ability to control emergency spending for war and natural disasters, powerful House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis balked, dooming the budget for now.
The conventional narrative in Washington has been reversed. Democrats stood firm as Republicans fell apart. The so-called "party of ideas" have none, or at least can no longer agree on what they are.
Even DeLay concurs. "We don't have an agreed agenda," he told reporters this week. "Breaking up our leadership has taken its toll."