Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Calling the Republican Bluff

As Congress gets to the down-and-dirty of reconciling the two stimulus bills, there is a strong case for favoring the House's version with more emphasis on aid to strapped states and less lip service to indefensible tax cuts.

Politically the only thing Democrats have to fear in this situation is, yes, fear itself in worrying about the loss of the three Senate moderates to provide cloture for the final bill.

Irrational as the GOP may be in gambling its future on the failure of Obama's efforts to save the economy, it would be suicidal for them to mount a Senate filibuster, an act that would be seen by Americans as harassing firemen trying to save the occupants of a burning building.

As uncertain as voters may be about the stimulus, polls show the President has persuaded a majority that something needs to be done and soon. The lonely trio of Senate Republican moderates, no matter how displeased they may be with the final bill, won't want to take the heat for blocking its passage, even though the right-wing smear machine is gearing up to pressure them to recant.

The Democrats' mission this week is to satisfy, insofar as possible, their House disaffected and get the stimulus passed.

The time for arguing and bluffing is past.

1 comment:

John Freeland said...

I agree. NPR's estimation of the the 3 Moderates (Snow, Collins and Spector) wielding enormous power is ludicrous.