“First Katrina, a lady with no known politics, blew the Bush second-term agenda off its moorings. Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s Tonto, is about a quarter mile ahead of a postindictment lynch mob. And this week, the president’s personal nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court was denounced on these pages by Robert Bork–which is like a conservative president’s Supreme Court nominee being dissed by, well, Robert Bork. As my former colleague Suzi Garment was wont to say amid similar Washington meltdowns, ‘This is not good!'”

That is the state of the union according to Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger. I’d quibble on one thing: Katrina turned out to be a left-wing dame, or at least one the left could co-opt. Rather than despair, Henninger suggest bold action:

“All the President’s known heroes–Churchill, Lincoln, Reagan–at some point arrived at low ebb. Mr. Bush, however, does not have access to Churchill’s eloquence, Lincoln’s stature or Reagan’s personality. But he surely knows from his study of these men that nothing so becomes a beleaguered national leader than the ability to act.”

Henninger has several suggestions. We don’t buy them all, but some such as supporting a brake on spending might go a long way to regain momentum.