Thursday, February 5, 2009

Read This Now - That Didn't Go So Well

President Obama has finally come to his senses and begun to hit back in support of his stimulus bill. Lots of folks are weighing in on what he should be saying or why things have gotten so bogged down.

I think the bottom line is that the Obama folks were unprepared for the Congressional Republicans to maintain party fealty and ignore what the administration saw as the voice of the voters for change. As such Obama let things go by and completely lost control of not only the debate but the entire conversation.

Bipartisanship is all well and good, as is changing the way we do business in Washington. But if that means you hide behind a claim of bipartisanship and remain on the sidelines while the other side attacks with a vengeance and you attempt to do things differently and less confrontationally while they come back with the same old tactics and claims (no matter how idiotic) and beat you up with them it won't do you or the country any good at all.

Instead of linking to a whole bunch of different people with different thoughts and insights I'm going to suggest that you (once again) read what Joan Walsh has to say. As is often the case, she is all over this one...

Obama is the most remarkable Democratic communicator of my lifetime, I think, and even he's not rising to the task, yet. He needs to lay out his priorities, clearly; he needs to simplify his pitch, yet he also needs to add some depth to his and our understanding of how we got here. This economic crisis is not just about bad mortgages and/or the housing bubble bursting, and it won't be solved by reinflating that bubble, the Republicans' latest dumb idea. These problems have been building since at least the 1970s...

Democrats know the Republicans are wrong. Little children know they're wrong. Cats and dogs know they're wrong. But somehow this week, unbelievably, Obama and the Democrats seem to be losing the spin war. There are the worrying poll numbers. And there is the Washington Post report that Senate Democrats don't have the votes to pass a stimulus bill yet, at least not with the 60 votes that would rule out a filibuster. In this economic crisis, with 2.6 million jobs lost last year and thousands more lost in every news cycle, what does it take to create the urgency and responsibility to get this done?

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