I didn’t watch much cable news yesterday, and boy was I happier. At any rate, CNN is on in the background now, and it appears that Boehner and the Republicans intend to vote no on the stimulus package. Obama is apparently going to Capitol hill to talk to the Republicans, but I can tell him what will happen- they will want more tax cuts, and even then, they still hope the stimulus will fail.
I’m not going to bother giving Obama advice, because first of all, I am just some idiot with a website, and unlike delusional sorts in the blogosphere, I really don’t think I have any influence whatsoever. Additionally, I don’t think Obama needs any advice, because he has proven to be a pretty deft politician.
If I were to give advice, I would say to just forget the politics of it all, at least in the House. You have the votes. Just put whatever you think will best get the economy rolling again, and if the Republicans have an idea that will help, add it. If the House Dems lard it up with useless stuff, get it out. The majority of the Republicans can be counted on to act in bad faith, so bipartisanship should not be giving them symbolic nods just to get their votes. Bipartisanship should be including their good ideas when they have them.
Trust me. That will be so rare, it will be obvious when they have a good idea. It will look as out of place as a whale in a salad bowl.
So just do what you think is right (it may still fail, we are aware of that) and ignore the Republicans until they have something to offer. And even then, be careful, because as soon as you accept their idea, they will try to change it to offer themselves more political advantage. That is just how they roll.
*** Update ***
Words of wisdom:
But that dubious point seems to be obscuring a more obvious and telling reality: the Republican leadership in both houses has decided that it’s in their political interest to oppose the Stimulus Bill no matter what.
In the most cynical of evaluations, it’s not clear to me that they’re incorrect. If the stimulus is judged a success, their political gain from adding more votes to what will be seen as Obama’s bill will not be that great. So they’re figuring that only failure will work for them politically; and they judge that they want Obama to own it entirely.
One can pick apart the political ethics of their stand, but the reality of it is clear. They want to criticize as many provisions of the bill as possible, push for as many non-stimulus inducing tax cuts as possible at the expense of spending on infrastructure, and then vote against the final bill en masse.
This really is not hard to figure out, as the Republicans are not even trying to be subtle. They intend to get as much as they want in the bill, provide the screeching points for the wingnuttosphere (latest edition- ZOMG ACORN) so they can be whipped up into their usual froth, and then vote against the thing anyway and hope it fails. 2010, baby.
Similar thoughts here.