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Thursday, January 29, 2009

House Passes Stimulus Bill, No GOP Support

With a vote of 244 to 188, (roll call here) the House passed Obama's stimulus bill, $800+ billion, without a GOP vote being given to it, although a few Democrats did vote against it.

It is being called a hollow victory for Obama as well as a slap in his face.

Problem was, he wanted only to listen and did not want to act on what Republicans said. When he was asked if he would re-structure the package to include more tax cuts, he reportedly responded: "Feel free to whack me over the head because I probably will not compromise on that part."

He apparently added: " I understand that and I will watch you on Fox News and feel bad about myself."

That's fine. No doubt Obama will indeed get beaten up on Fox News. But his failure to get even the squishiest moderate Republican - including the 11 entertained in the White House by Rahm Emanuel last night - to back him is not merely a big score for Rep Eric Cantor, Republican Whip, and the rest of the GOP leadership.

It also shows that it is not just Fox, the loony Right or Rush Limbaugh - or however else you might want to characterize the opposition in order to marginalize it - who had grave misgivings about the content of the bill.

The Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill badly miscalculated by treating the bill as a victor's charter. Not that it seemed to bother Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, who grinned from ear to ear as she announced the result of the vote.

Obama said yesterday he did not feel he had ownership of the bill. Be that as it may, if it goes through the Senate in similar fashion and is signed into law then - the efforts of Pelosio and Senator Harry Reid notwithstanding - it will be his and his alone.

More importantly, when it doesn't stop the bleeding of the American economy, it is also very clear it is a pure Democratic failure, without bipartisan support.

Malkin shows which Democrats understood how bad this "crap sandwich" bill is and dared to vote against it:

Dems who voted NAY: Griffith, Peterson, Boyd, Bright, Kanjorski, Kratovil, Cooper, Taylor, Ellsworth, Minnick, and Shuler.

The scariest part of all this, as brought to us by the Wall Street Journal, is that Rush Limbaugh, as far right as one can get, actually spoke up about a plan that was more "bipartisan" than the one the House jammed through.

Notwithstanding the media blitz in support of the Obama stimulus plan, most Americans, according to a new Rasmussen poll, are skeptical. Rasmussen finds that 59% fear that Congress and the president will increase government spending too much. Only 17% worry they will cut taxes too much. Since the American people are not certain that the Obama stimulus plan is the way to go, it seems to me there's an opportunity for genuine compromise. At the same time, we can garner evidence on how to deal with future recessions, so every occurrence will no longer become a matter of partisan debate.

Congress is currently haggling over how to spend $900 billion generated by American taxpayers in the private sector. (It's important to remember that it's the people's money, not Washington's.) In a Jan. 23 meeting between President Obama and Republican leaders, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) proposed a moderate tax cut plan. President Obama responded, "I won. I'm going to trump you on that."

Yes, elections have consequences. But where's the bipartisanship, Mr. Obama? This does not have to be a divisive issue. My proposal is a genuine compromise.

Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.

My heavens, when Limbaugh is more bipartisan than the Democratic lawmakers in the House, then we have indeed, gone into the Twilight Zone.

The one good thing that comes from having a White House, Senate and House Democrat controlled atmosphere, especially when they pass 800+ billion idiotic stimulus proposals that have no chance of working and do so without any Republican support.... is that when the American people see how badly it fails, the Democrats can no longer point to Republicans with blame, they will finally be held accountable all on their own.

They can no longer hide behind Republican skirts.