Monday, February 02, 2009

republicans bemoaning stimulus package, still

The Republicans' complaint? This stimulus bill isn't Republican enough. That is, it spends ... on the wrong people, by not giving tax cuts that benefit the wealthy and the EMPLOYED enough.
McConnell moans, "I think it may be time ... for the president to kind of get a hold of these Democrats in the Senate and the House, who have rather significant majorities, and shake them a little bit and say, 'Look, let's do this the right way,'" McConnell said. "I can't believe that the president isn't embarrassed about the products that have been produced so far."
Oh boo fucking hoo. First, Obama bent over backwards with House Republicans to meet them part of the way. Hell, 1/3 of the $819 billion is TAX CUTS - admittedly, not Republican Tax Cuts since they aren't all aimed at the yacht and summer home set. It is the Republicans who should be embarrassed at taking a clearly partisan/ideological line and enforcing a zero-vote policy in the House.
And second, yes the Democrats have a majority - quite a large one. They should use it. The GOP used much narrower majorities throughout the 2001-07 period to ram ideological bits of legislation through Congress. Remember the famous Rove strategy as implemented by DeLay, that all you need is 50% + one? They were happy to pass things 219-216 or 51-49. In fact, they'd count the votes and even give some vulnerable Republicans permission to vote "no", not bothering to make any concessions to try for any Democratic votes. Now all of a sudden, McConnell is moaning that a 58-41 majority (pending the outcome in Minnesota's recount/court case) shouldn't really count if zero of the 41 Republicans are happy?
In any case I think he will be unhappily mistaken. I suspect some of the GOP Senators will break ranks. First, some of them like the two GOP Maine senators Snowe and Collins, show dangerous signs of sanity and independent thinking. Second, several GOP Senators are up for re-election in 2010. Unlike their House colleagues, Senators have to win an entire state, not just a district gerrymandered to produce ultra-rightist victories. They may not want to be on record opposing a bill that is designed to create jobs for little people, to improve health benefits and unemployment benefits for little people, while defending their pro-fat cat record...

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