The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Predictable Fault Lines Appear on Stimulus

By Ben Pershing
Is the dream dead? Just as many Washingtonians' hopes to clear a quick profit renting out their houses for Inauguration appear to be disintegrating, so too do the prospects for fast and painless passage of an economic stimulus bill. As HuffPo's banner headline subtly puts it, "THE HONEYMOON'S OVER."

Now, it is true that Barack Obama's aides got an earful yesterday from some Senate Democrats, who want fewer tax cuts and more traditional infrastructure spending. But don't mistake the natural friction of the legislative process for some sort of calamitous intraparty break. There is not and never was any realistic way that a package this big and complicated was going to make everyone happy, just as it was never realistic to expect that the BCS system would really crown an undisputed national champion.

Obama has made clear that he wants to attract at least some Republican votes, and that means Democrats are going to have to swallow some elements they'd rather not. (And if Democrats are already thinking about 2010, they should want at least some Republicans to back the bill to give the majority some political cover in case it doesn't quite work out as planned.) After all, just look at the financial bailout -- if Republicans hadn't voted for that bill too, Election Day could have gone differently.

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Posted at 8:15 AM ET on Jan 9, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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But it was a weak compromise because the Republicans are still bent on blocking stimulus. So besides genuine obstructionism, the Obama administration now must put out its own internal fires.

The perils of governing from the center...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 9, 2009 8:49 AM

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