From TPM Reader MF …
This is similar to a point that’s already floating around, but for all the complaints in the blogosphere that President Obama wiffed the negotiations over the stimulus out of an excessive attempt to appear “bipartisan,” it seems hard to deny at this point that Obama’s stimulus strategy has been incredibly effective. First, he proposes the package that is more or less what he would like to see enacted. Then, House Democrats run up the tab inflating it above the original targets and pass it on a party-line vote. Finally, “responsible” moderates in the Senate, including Republicans, save the day from those partisan House Democrats by bringing the package back down to earth, which just so happens to be in the ballpark of what Obama originally proposed. Done and done. It’s all political kabuki, and everyone played their part brilliantly, especially Nelson and Collins, who now get to go home and take credit for their post-partisan “fiscal responsibility.” As much as I share many people’s skepticism of all the “trust Obama’s secret plan” rhetoric, in this case, it seems hardy to deny that the strategy he had all along has worked.
I look forward to seeing your take on the stimulus process and what this says about the dynamic we can expect enacting the rest of Obama’s agenda.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.