Saturday, February 14, 2009

the end of the (r) world as we know it?

could the passage of this stimulus bill be the beginning of the end of the republican party as we know it?

will this strong show of republican unity against obama and the stim bill pay off hugely down the line or will it sink the party completely? if there is any evidence of economic recovery by 2010, obama and the democrats will have every right to point to this moment and claim victory. they will also have every right to point to the republicans (sans spector, snowe, and collins, all who voted in favor of the bill) and claim massive failure.

if there is no end to the downturn by then, if in fact the situation is much worse, the republicans will (and are certainly hoping to be able to) declare victory. positioning in washington is certainly not unusual, but one would hope that considering the dire straits we're in there might be something other than politics. still, it's always this way, right?

from nbc's mark murray:
"With zero House Republicans voting for the stimulus -- and with just three Senate Republicans expected to vote for it later this afternoon -- it's worth noting that 28 House Democrats and 12 Senate Democrats voted for the final passage of Bush's big tax cut in 2001. (And remember, too, that Bush had barely won the presidential election the year before.)

The size of that 2001 tax-cut package? $1.35 trillion."
and what about that show of republican unity?

republican senator arlen specter:
"When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today, one of my colleagues said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' My Republican colleague said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' I said, 'Are you going to vote with me?' And he said, 'No, I might have a primary.' And I said, 'Well, you know very well I'm going to have a primary.'

I think there are a lot of people in the Republican caucus who are glad to see this action taken without their fingerprints, without their participation."
but look, at least the republicans have the public on their side, right?

from politico:
"Obama’s approval rating remains well above 60 percent in tracking polls. A range of state pollsters said they’d seen no diminution in the president’s sky-high approval ratings, and no improvement in congressional Republicans’ dismal numbers.

A CBS News poll released February 5, for instance, found 81 percent of Americans said Obama is reaching out to congressional Republicans, while just 41 percent said the congressional Republicans were looking for bipartisanship."
and from gallup:
"Public support for an $800 billion economic stimulus package has increased to 59% in a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Tuesday night, up from 52% in Gallup polling a week ago, as well as in late January."
make no mistake, obama now owns this economic stimulus bill in a big way (along with pelosi, reid, and the rest of the dems.) if it leads us into further decline, if there is no tiny pinprick of bright light at the end of the tunnel within the next two to four years, they are in trouble.

if there is some positive movement – fewer jobs being lost, bridges being built, roads being repaired, some type of upswing in the national mood – how do the republicans play that?

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