The NYT got its chief worry monger, Nagourney the Noble, to file one of his patented Sky-is-Falling stories focused on the problems swamping BushCo's second term. Nagourney can be counted on to crank these kinds of stories out by the dozen when the Dems are the target so it's good to see one fall at Team BushCo's door.
Sure, the there aren't nearly enough anonymous sources throwing bombs at their own party to make it a classic Nagourney column and the sources are more balanced than usual, but it does look at some of the context surrounding the shattered GOP agenda, which includes desperately low poll numbers and an angry, ever-ravenous base:
"It's certainly not going to happen if the president continues on the course he has been operating on," said Richard A. Viguerie, a veteran conservative activist. "The only way you can build a governing coalition is to draw a clear distinction between you and the other side. But the longer George W. Bush is in office, the more like his father he has become. He is uncomfortable with confrontation." [Ouch -eR]
Political analysts said hopes for creating this coalition had already been strained by the Iraq war and Mr. Bush's unpopular plan to privatize Social Security. But the recent crises that have besieged the Bush administration, beginning with the reaction to Hurricane Katrina, have presented a series of systematic challenges to the central elements of this ambitious plan.
Mr. Bush's nomination of his counsel, Harriet E. Miers, to the Supreme Court, produced a rupture with the conservative base, which was already distressed by Mr. Bush's spending policies. In startlingly blunt language, several said that Mr. Bush would have to produce a nominee to their liking to repair the damage.
"If we don't get a good nominee - if it's somebody else who is a stealth candidate, and we don't know what their judicial philosophy is - well then that will be the end of the Bush coalition," said Paul J. Weyrich, a conservative organizer and founder of the Free Congress Foundation.
Beyond that, the corruption and cronyism allegations and that have swirled around Republicans in the White House and Congress are the kind of issues that have historically disturbed moderate swing voters. The White House's response to Hurricane Katrina has undercut any hope that the party might have made gains with African-Americans.
I honestly don't know what to do with all that context all at once. Finding reality reflected in NYT's poltical reporting is like getting root beer when you expect Coke. Kudos to you, Noble Nagourney!