The latest “stimulus package” from Team Obama has passed the House. Hooray! Bold, decisive action from Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats (not a single Republican voted for it). It’s got money for infrastructure spending and alternative energy, too! But as is becoming per usual with our new President, we have to ask: “Where’s the catch?”
Well, if you read the story linked above, something will strike you right away – something that was hidden in the 99th paragraph of the article.
In an attempt bid [sic] to assuage Republicans, Mr Obama persuaded Democrats to to remove millions of dollars in funding for contraceptives for state medical programmes from the bill.
And what about this?
The stimulus plan includes about $275 billion in tax cuts, including a credit worth $500 dollars for each worker and $1,000 for couples.
Yes, Obama giveth, and Obama taketh away.
You see, the original bill in the House did not include any tax cuts. And it CERTAINLY did not include this horrifying idea to take away government funding for birth control measures, which is bad even apart from its obvious heartlessness and misogyny; it actually will end up costing more money than it saves. (By the way, weren’t all the Sarah Palin haterz positive that if she became Vice President, this sort of thing would start happening to women – even though she is on the record as being pro-contraception? Ah, memories.) But Barack Obama strode down to Capitol Hill in all his glory, with many representatives of Big Business trailing behind him in clouds of cigar smoke – you know, the ones who helped him buy the Presidency for $800 million – and lo and behold, the Democrats listened to his words of wisdom! Yes, that’s right – the Democrats are in charge now, and they were the ones who tried to make the bill “bi-partisan” at Obama’s urgings. The Republicans can do nothing, legislatively, to stop the bill in the House, so their input was politically nil – or should have been.
Despite the triumphant pronunciations from President Obama’s camp (awkward!), the GOP was clearly determined to vote against the bill, so why did Obama pressure the Democrats into changing it? I understand that in the Senate, if any bill cannot win the support of two Republicans, there might be a filibuster. Big deal. Make the opposing Senators stand up and talk all day and all night. They would cave very shortly, because if there’s anything we learned in the days of the 109th Congress, these guys hate to do anything resembling work. But I guess that approach wouldn’t be “post-partisan” enough.
For those scratching their heads and saying “WTF!” because of this revolting development, let me explain it to you simply:
Obama wants to be re-elected, and he wants to be loved by everyone as a unifying figure of worship.
As for re-election, the fundiegelicals are the ones who got Obama to the White House in 2008, and they’ll vote for him again in 2012 if he makes sure to show them how much he agrees with their hatred of birth control, stem cell research, and all those science-y things. I expect a Creationist Museum on the National Mall shortly. (Only slightly snarking here.) Don’t believe me? Read this mind-blowing article by Reverend Amy at No Quarter. Obama is going to make his beloved Daddy, Ronald Reagan, look like an amateur when it comes to bringing the religious right into his Party.
As for his desire to be loved and worshiped by all, it should be fairly obvious by this point. But let’s take his famous statement that he wanted the stimulus package to pass by 80 votes. Why? The Republicans have been absolutely dead wrong on the economy since, well, forever, as Not Your Sweetie reminds us:
Paul Krugman was right about this, as he is about all matters economic. In the article linked above, this was his January 6th prediction:
I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we’re talking about now, is crafted to win those extra GOP votes. The plan limits the rise in unemployment, but things are still pretty bad, with the rate peaking at something like 9 percent and coming down only slowly. And then Mitch McConnell says “See, government spending doesn’t work.”
Let’s hope I’ve got this wrong.
No, Paul, you got it 100% right. Obama will never, ever win the argument with the GOP, because he would prefer to make sure he is re-elected by their base: the elite and the religious right. Krugman today says:
As the Obama administration apparently prepares to launch Hankie Pankie II — buying troubled assets from banks at prices higher than they will fetch on the open market — it occurred to me that an updated version of an old Communist-era joke may be appropriate: under Bush, financial policy consisted of Wall Street types cutting sweet deals, at taxpayer expense, for Wall Street types. Under Obama, it’s precisely the reverse.
Welcome to the undercarriage of Obama’s bus, Dr. Krugman. I’ve got plenty of room over here by me, which is a good thing – I think it’s going to get awfully crowded by 2012.