Friday, February 13, 2009

BREAKING: STIMULUS BILL IS NOW LAW--Friday the 13th Stimulus Roundup (excerpts with video)

BREAKING: "Senate Passes The Economic Stimulus Bill."

David Axelrod: Bush "classy," Cheney "tasteless," Rove "amazing", WaPo (Lois Romano), video (03:50.)

John Cole: "It’s The Politics, Stupid," (Balloon Juice):
Krugman has basically spent the past few weeks arguing for a much, much larger stimulus bill, something on the order of double what we got now, and without as many tax cuts and with far more direct spending. The very first thing I remember him saying about the bill was that it was a disappointment, and this was before he even knew what was in it. And for all I know, he may be right- that may be what the economy needs, the current bill may be inadequate, and so on.

But the point remains that a larger bill was not politically feasible. At all. The current bill just barely is getting the support from the three Republicans it needs, and this is after hundreds of hours of bickering, of paring down spending, and so forth.
Booman: "More on Demagoguery" (Booman Tribune):
The Republican coalition is built of necessity. There are few other ways for Wall Street bankers to compete for majorities than to ally themselves with religious populism. The Democratic coalition is purely ad hoc, and it will remain a fluid and divisive Babel of voices and concerns so long as no single constituency is strong enough to dominate.

What Greenwald and Judis are saying is that the Left is so enthralled with Obama that they are giving him a pass rather than pushing hard for him to move to the left. And without sustained and vocal advocacy from the Left, Obama will stay where he is or move to the right.

Here's where it gets tricky. Part of what Greenwald and Judis say is inarguable. But when it comes to individual voices (columnists, bloggers, talking heads), it's important that we remember one thing. If you lie, exaggerate, distort, or dissemble about the facts in order to push for a better policy outcome, you will lose your credibility.
Howie P.S.: I know it won't be law until Obama signs it, but still...

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