Is The Stimulus a Stinking Corspe

The GOP pretend to care so deeply about the stimulus, when it is patently obvious and a derelict of their duty to the public, that the GOP are working furiously for the next elections and not the peoples' economic crisis looming so large at this time.  Some Republican Pundits charged with this task, call the Stimulus a stinking corpse, instead of what it is -- a valuable work in progress for this country.  Like any creation, in the early stages, it is chaos and not fully formed, such as a fetus, a painting, any work of art, and yet the artist ploughs on knowing the beauty to be eventually created.  Why in the world, would some Pundits criticize the early form instead of giving support, is beyond the pale, especially when they know to publically criticize it is to get the ball rolling to derail it.  May be they do not love this country more than their party affiliation!  These pundits sit in their high-paying jobs, so lofty, and pick apart every little thing someone says or does, Wears...., with nothing good to say, like their word is God or gold -- as they no longer report the news but give their Opinions about the news.  There was a time when we were taught as Americans, if you have nothing good to say about anyone, say nothing at all.  We have lost that.  These Pundits are a part of the problem and not the solution.  

At this critical stage in our rapidly-crumbling economy, it would seem that the Republican Senators would do everything they can to do something, to tell the American people, I am on your side, and not always to quickly say no to the middle class and the little people; no to schools, education, infra structure, green jobs, all of which have too long been denied and neglected and Yet, always yes to the Special Interest Groups,  to wars,  to big oil and their tax breaks.

It is a sad fact that for average American citizens, the GOP is becoming the party of NO! We can not depend on the GOP to help us, they never have. In 2010, we will know what to do.

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Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

By "old dog" I mean John McCain and by "new tricks" I mean how not to be a liar.

Have you seen John McCain's latest exercise in obfuscation? Just got this gem of an e-mail in my inbox (TPM has the e-mail in its entirety):

I appreciate the discussions President Obama is having with my Republican colleagues, but the time for talking has come to an end and we must now begin some serious negotiation. But as of yet, Republicans have not been given the opportunity to be involved. The House of Representatives passed a stimulus bill without a single Republican supporting it. In the Senate, the Democrat leadership is trying to jam the existing proposal through regardless of reservations from a number of members. With so much at stake, the last thing we need is partisanship driving our attempts to turn the economy around.

I have long been a fighter against wasteful spending in Washington and long an advocate for a balanced budget -- that will never change. I realize we face extraordinary challenges with our economy today, but that is not an excuse for more irresponsibly from Washington. I hope you will join me in saying no to this stimulus package as it currently exists by signing this petition.

It's hard to know where to start, really. For me, the nut here is his liberal (very small 'l') use of the word "partisanship." Umm, John, I don't think it means what you think it means.

In McCain's twisted telling, it's the Democrats who are being partisan when in fact it was the Republicans who were the ones who voted all together as one bloc, not the Democrats. If that's not the definition of partisanship, what is? But the thing is, there's nothing wrong with it, they're a united opposition, part of me admires their complete and utter disregard for the popularity of the new president and the stimulus package in apparent fealty to their base. Gee, wouldn't that have been nice a few years ago? But McCain here is throwing around the word "partisanship" with such abandon it completely loses all meaning. And while he concedes that Obama has reached out to Republicans, there's apparently absolutely no onus on those Republicans to reach out in kind. They're completely blameless -- how nice that must be. So much for personal responsibility, I suppose. You see, in McCain's words, "time for talking must come to an end" and instead begin "serious negotiation." What does he think negotiation is, exactly?

Oh, and one more thing, someone should tell McCain that, just as with "partisanship" here, he threw around the phrase "wasteful spending" with such utter disregard for any meaning during his campaign -- exactly what government spending in his world isn't wasteful? -- that he lost any and all credibility on that issue (where he was actually perceived to have had some.)

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The Republicans Have Nothing to Party ABout

Obstructionism is not what the people voted for in November. But, some politicians believe it is their duty to block the nation's recovery, while lining up their political "creds."

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Republicans on very thin ice with stimulus obstructionism

In the ongoing debate about the fallout of the stimulus package's passing in the House without a single Republican vote there are some rainclouds that threaten to disrupt the congratulatory shoulder patting and guffawing Republicans seem intent to engage in at the moment, believing that they somehow "scored a victory" by being principled and united in opposition.

Reality seems to paint a different picture. There seems to be very little wiggle room between the thin ice the Republicans on a whole are balancing on here and the cliff they may already have crossed, unaware that like Wiley E. Coyote they are going to look down any moment now to see the bottom below their feet vanished.  

1. Support for the stimulus package appears to be growing in the wake of the House vote 009/01/president-barack-obama/

Poll pdf: /files/dc10012909fq1sperling.pdf

In this week's national survey, completed as this plan was being debate, 62 percent support Obama's economic recovery plan - more than twice as many who oppose (27 percent).

As this poll was conducted from Jan. 26 through Jan 29 - 1000 likely voters - this is the first poll that draws entirely from responses given AFTER the historic House vote.  We are talking support for the package to the tune of +35%, a poll blowout.

2. Obama's personal ratings improved in the wake of the House vote

From the same DC poll referenced above:

Over 70 percent of voters now describe the president as honest and trustworthy, and three-quarters say he is a strong leader. While Obama's outreach to Republicans may not have generated any Republican votes on his economic plan in the House, it is clearly cementing his reputation as a bipartisan problem solver; an astounding 80 percent of voters, including 56 percent of Republicans, say Obama is willing to work with both parties.

Overall approval ratings:

Obama boasts his strongest personal ratings yet, now enjoying a better than 3:1 favorable-unfavorable ratio nationally.

Latest Rasmussen numbers published on Saturday appear to back this up: ontent/politics/obama_administration/dai ly_presidential_approval_index

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Approval Index for Saturday shows that 45% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing as President. That's his highest positive rating yet. Twenty-two percent (22%) Strongly Disapprove to give Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +23 (see trends).

The real risks Republicans are facing with their obstructionism to the stimulus package is analyzed in the CSM article after the break into the extended entry, as well as additional likely reasons Republicans may be laughing all the way into a gigantic buzzsaw right about now:

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Making Them Pay (And Making A Better Bill...?)

I'm under no illusions that the Obama administration was somehow caught flat-footed by the lack of Republican votes for the stimulus bill yesterday but I am a bit (pleasantly) surprised by the retaliatory tone of some statements coming out of the administration in the wake of the vote.

From Politico:

"It's clear the Republicans who voted against the stimulus represent constituents who will be stunned to learn their member of Congress voted against [saving or] creating 4 million jobs," the aide said.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the lawmakers will have to answer to their constituents.

"I do believe that there will be people in districts all over the country that will wonder why, when there's a good bill to get the economy moving again, why we still seem to be playing political gotcha," Gibbs said.

And as an "unnamed Democratic official" put it clearly:

"We will run ads in their districts."

Of course, the vote isn't over, the bill still needs to get through the Senate. That debate is scheduled to begin next week. So, in the meantime, I give you the vast leftwing conspiracy:

Amid a worsening economic crisis that resulted in 2.6 million American jobs being lost last year, and with layoffs accelerating in the early part of 2009, Americans United for Change, Political Action, AFSCME and SEIU announced a robust television advertising campaign today as part of the Campaign for Jobs and Economic Recovery.

The ads will target moderate Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in Maine, Chuck Grassley in Iowa, Judd Gregg in New Hampshire and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

Watch the ad below:

Speaking of the Senate vote, we just may see a much better bill emerge there. John Kerry is making an awful lot of sense.

Sen. John Kerry says Democrats should ignore Republicans’ demands about the stimulus plan if they’re going to vote against it anyway.

Reacting to Wednesday night’s vote in the House -- where not a single GOP member supported the stimulus package -- Kerry told Politico that “if Republicans aren’t prepared to vote for it, I don’t think we should be giving up things, where I think the money can be spent more effectively.”

“If they’re not going to vote for it, let’s go with a plan that we think is going to work.”

See, was that so hard!?

Update [2009-1-29 14:42:48 by Todd Beeton]:H/t to Art3 for this update from HuffPo. While the House "isn't there yet" when it comes to the prospect of stripping Republican measures from the stimulus if they're not going to vote for it anyway, it's nice to see House Dems at least acknowledge the absurdity of conceding anything if they're getting nothing in return:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked Thursday by the Huffington Post why the business tax cuts, whose purpose was to garner Republican support, would be left in the bill if no Republicans supported it regardless.

"That's what my members ask me," said Pelosi. "It wasn't something that was suggested [by Democrats]. It was a heavy lift for our members, but they understood that it has a benefit and were willing to support it."

So far, she said, she has been resistant to removing the cuts from the package. "It's something that we can live with," she said. "I can't answer why they wouldn't vote for this even though their main net-operating-loss carry-back suggestion was part of the tax cuts."

Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said that Democratic leadership was still willing to work with the GOP. "I've heard that discussion," he said of the push by Democratic members to take back the business tax cuts and include provisions, such as funds for family planning, that were eliminated due to Republicans objections.

Update [2009-1-29 14:42:48 by Todd Beeton]:Updated title.

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