Neither Side Budging on Stimulus
By Ben Pershing
The economic stimulus bill moved forward in the Senate yesterday evening, and not long after, President Obama spent an hour of prime time making an impassioned, occasionally feisty case for the measure and against its GOP critics. Obama called reporters by their real names. He took an A-Rod question. He called on Huffington Post. Yet hardly anything really changed in Washington Monday.
Even after all the drama of the Senate's bipartisan negotiations and Obama's injection of his considerable political capital into the fray, there remains an unusual disconnect between the two parties on the stimulus. It's rare for both sides to look at the same bill, the same polls and the same environment and reach completely opposite conclusions about the right political thing to do. But as of this morning, with a roll call on final passage looming and a difficult, race-against-the-clock conference ahead, Democrats are still 98 percent convinced that voting for the measure is the smart move and Republicans are 98 percent convinced that it's not. Most Democrats -- particularly in the House -- are perfectly happy to back the bill without the "cover" of bipartisanship, and most Republicans are perfectly happy to let them do so.
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