Democrats won the election handily. Why are we rolling ourselves? I thought Obama would be smarter than the usual Democrat and not negotiate against his own position on behalf of the Republicans. Apparently, I was wrong, since that seems to be the impetus behind making 40% of the ‘stimulus’ tax cuts:
Obama strategists say he wants to get 80 or more votes in the 100-member Senate, and the emphasis on tax cuts is a way to defuse conservative criticism and enlist Republican support.
Why 80? He needs 60 votes to get cloture in the Senate. As Krugman noted, this is nothing more than a sign of weakness. Can we stop punking ourselves? Please?
At the very least, force the Republicans to publicly negotiate. I understand the need to get 60 Senate votes, but 80? It’s not like the Republican economic agenda has any credibility at this post. And if you negotiate halfway competently, you might just change the storyline from “compromise Democratic plan” to “Republican obstructionism.”
Post-partisan depression indeed.