A DEMOCRATIC SPEECH?….Media Girl sums up Bush’s New Orleans speech: “From now on, I am a Democrat.” Max agrees. So do a lot of other people.

When the going gets tough, the tough turn liberal…..

POSTSCRIPT: Then again, Dan Froomkin suggests there’s another possibility:

Maybe it’s just a plan to transform the Gulf Coast into a big test bed for conservative social policy, where tax breaks flow to big business and tax money flows to Halliburton, churches and private schools. That utterly terrifies liberals.

The argument that the administration will consider conservative ideological gains as a paramount consideration certainly gains credence when you consider, as I wrote in yesterday’s column, that the White House’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, has apparently been put in charge of reconstruction plans.

Josh Marshall is all over this possibility too. Sam Rosenfeld and Harold Meyerson have some gloomy thoughts as well.

BY THE WAY: Has anyone else noticed that this is sort of the mirror image of “Only Nixon can go to China”? Aside from a need to repair the specific perception that he looked detached during the early days of the disaster, Bush also probably felt a need to respond to the general perception that Republicans are stingy and heartless. There’s a good chance that a Democratic president could have gotten away with a less generous plan.