This article in the Times raises what is perhaps the one bright spot for the Bush White House in the loss of the Senate: the opportunity to blame the Democrats for the flaws and dishonesty of the Bush budget itself.
As many argued at the time, the Bush budget was premised on extremely low (unrealistically low) rates of increase in various domestic programs. It also didn’t budget for things that Bush himself is already proposing: the education bill, missile defense, etc.
That’s letting alone additional or expanded programs that Democrats might want.
By the end of the year, as the budget was actually getting cobbled together under Republican control, it would have become clear that the budget numbers put forth by the White House were simply a sham — low-balled in order to ram through the tax cut.
Now, though, the White House will have an excuse, an argument. Blame it on profligate Democrats in the Senate who can’t keep their spending in line. Even though the Republicans would have been equally unwilling to starve popular programs of funds.
For a variety of reasons I don’t think this will actually work. But it looks likely to be the White House’s strategy for the rest of the year — especially when appropriations bills start getting voted on, and argued over between the House and the Senate, and sent on to the president’s desk.