Monday, February 09, 2009

GOP sees victory in obstructing Obama stimulus plan

This is from The Washington Post:

Three months after their Election Day drubbing, Republican leaders see glimmers of rebirth in the party's liberation from an unpopular president, its selection of its first African American chairman and, most of all, its stand against a stimulus package that they are increasingly confident will provide little economic jolt but will pay off politically for those who oppose it.

After giving the package zero votes in the House, and with their counterparts in the Senate likely to provide in a crucial procedural vote today only the handful of votes needed to avoid a filibuster, Republicans are relishing the opportunity to make a big statement. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be.

"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), one of several younger congressmen seeking to lead the party's renewal. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice. We're standing on our core principles, and the core principle that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. That was the tallest pole in our tent, and we took an ax to it, but now we're building it back."

The second-ranking House Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), put it more bluntly. "What transpired . . . and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no," he said.

The fact that the stimulus legislation keeps moving forward nonetheless has done nothing to dim Republicans' satisfaction. Rather, they sense a tactical victory, particularly in the framing of their opposition to the plan as a clash with congressional Democrats instead of with President Obama, who remains far more popular with voters than does Congress.

If I'm reading this story correctly, the Republicans are more happy about obstructing President Obama on not just the economic stimulus bill, but everything else, while claiming they support "core principles" of....what? More tax cuts? More failed supply-sided economics? More handouts to Big Business? Are these not the same, failed, economic policies of the Bush administration? It is like the Republicans have dressed up in their finest regalia, sipping champagne, and are celebrating how they are winning on the Titanic, even as the ship continues to sink. And don't bother with the rearranging of the deck chairs--the deck chairs have already floated away. But I guess these GOP idiots are happy that they've found their voice, and are screeching the ridiculous drivel of their winning the tactical battles while the entire ship sinks into a deeper economic malaise.

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