Two consistent themes emerged: “We need to act immediately” and “Republicans are making us get 60 votes!”
With the general acceptance of these two ideas, Obama is in pretty good shape – because if the compromised version of the stimulus bill works, despite being watered down in order to get a few GOP votes as well as support from the Ben Nelsons and Joe Liebermans of the World, Obama can still take credit for pushing it over heavy Republican objection.
If it doesn’t work, Obama can approach Phase Two with a statement sounding something like this:
Look, the economy was dying! It was on the table with its heart stopped and we needed to act immediately to shock it back to life. I would have preferred to use our full power in order to maximize the chances of jolting the economy back to life. But the Republicans made us get 60 votes, which meant that we had to dial down the power to conserve enough energy to pick up a few more votes. We did this, in the hope that it would work anyway, if we acted quickly enough!I'd say the Republican couldn't refuse, but I know better. They just can't refuse without looking even more useless than they already do!
Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful.
The scope of the problem was too great for the reduced shock we ended being able to provide, and now we have another decision:
Do we turn up the dial to full power, where I wanted it in the first place, and keep trying to save the patient?
Or do we proclaim the patient dead?
I think we, as a people, are too resilient and too resourceful to just give up in the face of adversity. I still think we can save our economy if we have the determination and discipline to keep trying!
And that’s why I’m asking the Congress to provide an additional $xxxxxxxxx as quickly as possible, so we can carry out the responsibility we have to our children and grandchildren to get this economy beating strongly again!