George Will dismisses the importance of Tom DeLay's indictment and even suggests, with a clever silver lining in the cloud analogy, that the turnover in House leadership will help the conservative cause of good--read, less-- economic government. Will points out the excess of pork in the recent transportation bill and notes the explosion of lobbyists in Washington since 2000, who are not committed, as Will is, to the goal of "less government". He points fondly, instead, to conservative purists, like Indiana's Mike Pence, who leads something called the republican study committee as a shining example of the kind of representative who will duly help turn the direction of government back to the agrarian days of yesteryore.
Will seems to think the demise of DeLay will finally usher in the dawn of true conservative governance, complete with relentless budget slashing, except for defense spending for which the sky is the limit, and further tax cutting utopia.
I don't think Will gets it. DeLay was a cog in The Machine. He'll be replaced by sojmeone else and business will remain the same. Conservative Republicans may have helped create the monster, but they're no longer driving the ship of state. Chopping government down till it can be "drowned in a bathtub" is the holy grail of "movement" conservatives. But it doesn't work in practice. It's unpopular, it's dysfunctional for the service of power, and its ultimately unrealizable.
Nonetheless, conservatives will continue to believe that THIS time, they really mean it. Just wait till they get THEIR man in as the Majority leader; Just wait until they get THEIR man elected president; just wait until THEIR man is confirmed to the Supreme Court. Just wait till THIS tax reduction package is approved. And on and on.