Sunday, February 15, 2009


"I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations - you've burbled every bit of strategy you've got. I know exactly what you will do, and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes, boy, that's what winning looks like!"
- Henry II, The Lion in Winter

The Great Stimulus Battle is over.

Obama won.

He made his gesture and reached out to the Republicans, who decided to take their toys and go off into a corner to sulk like whining little children. And all this despite Obama swallowing his pride and adding tax cuts and cutting back on some things in order to make it palatable. He made his gesture for true bipartisanship, and it was rebuffed.

Representative Pete Sessions (R-Dumbass) crowed about how the GOP was going to become an insurgency and held up the Taliban as exemplars. Really, Pete? How about calling a spade a true spade, and compare the Republican Base to al Qaeda?

(Of course, 'the base' and 'al qaeda' are synonymous.)

So, the stimulus battle is over, and Obama won. Will the stimulus work? Not instantly; something like this current recession has developed so much inertia that it will take time to counteract its worst effects.

What's up next? Well, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-Pass the Smelling Salts, I feel Faint!) feels that the banks should be nationalized on the Swedish model from the 90s. This would enable the government to comb out the nasty bits and reprivatize the banks as solvent and effective businesses. Of course, nationalization is a dirty word to Republicans - Nationalization equals Socialism equals Oh My God The APOCALYPSE!

I can toss the talking points, you see.

Obama is expected to go to Phoenix, Arizona this week. Phoenix is one of the hardest-hit areas for home foreclosures and Obama's expected there to outline a bailout plan for homeowners. Of course, it's the stomping ground of his rival in the 2008 campaign, Senator John McCain (R-Geritol).

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary TIMMUH! Geithner had a sit down with some of the G7 finance ministers and a couple said that they think the US is on the right track. A global approach to solving the recession was also one of the topics, and that's important. You must recall that the Great Depression left a lot of people poor, desperate and hurting, and therefore very receptive to the allure of ideologies or malevolent charismatics that promise a better life.

History is our example, and we must pay attention.

But getting back to the win this past week, as long as the Republicans insist on being children we can expect more victories in the Congress.


What happens if this stimulus plan succeeds?

I'm sure that GOP Chairman Michael Steele and GOP True Leader and Chief Ideologue Rush Limbaugh wake up in cold night-terror sweats every night because they can't face that eventuality. A stimulus-driven turnaround of the economy, however small, would call into question every aspect of the current GOP position and if the rest of the Democratic policy plan works it'll completely invalidate the GOP worldview.

And if you think you're seeing heads explode now, you ain't seen nothing yet.


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