I won’t pretend to be an expert on economics. My plans for an economic recovery package would probably be something along the lines of, “Dude. Give away so much money and then it will be cool.” But while I may not understand how a stimulus is supposed to work, I know enough about American politics to see when one party is being held hostage by another. And that’s what’s happening with this stimulus bill.
Jonathan Zasloff at Reality Based Community (an excellent blog if you haven’t seen it) lays out what President Obama and the Democratic leadership need to do to stop getting jerked around by the party of losers:
The administration should use its supposed vaunted community organizing to build public pressure for its version of the stimulus, and then Obama, Pelosi, and Reid should hold a press conference where they say:
1) The only reason why the bill has not passed and Americans have not gotten economic relief is because of the Republican Party. And the only reason why the Republican Party has been able to obstruct is because of the filibuster (more accurately, Senate rules, but close enough.).
2) If the stimulus does not pass now, any future economic pain is solely the responsibility of the Republican Party. Any American who finds herself out of work, without medical care, etc. etc. can lay blame completely at the doorstep of the GOP.
3) Budget bills cannot be filibustered.
4) Thus, our intention is to pull the stimulus package now and resubmit it as part of the budget process. We will resubmit this budget with Democratic priorities and Democratic principles, and it will reinforce the goals that President Obama advocated during the campaign and for which the country gave him a mandate.
5) It will pass in that form.
6) To be sure, it will be much better to have a package now, but we will not compromise on what the American people voted for last November. And as we said, the public knows quite clearly upon whom the blame should land.
7) Negotiations are over. Take it or leave it.
Barack Obama cut his political teeth in Chicago. Nancy Pelosi learned tough Baltimore politics from her father. Harry Reid used to be a boxer. It’s about time they showed it.
Right on. WWOLD?