The MSM is getting antsy about the stimulus plan. It is hard to get around the fact that, as the Washington Post editors confess:
Instead of giving the economy a “targeted, timely and temporary” injection, the plan has been larded with spending on existing social programs or hastily designed new ones, much of it permanent or probably permanent — and not enough of it likely to create new jobs.
And it is hard to square the plan with the heroic presidential figure in whom they invested so much hope and for whom they worked so vigorously to promote. The MSM mumbles that if only Obama knew how bad things were he could swoop in like a Russian czar and intervene. He’s a policy wonk, a healer and one of the smartest presidents we’ve ever had, right? The Post pleads:
What he needs to do now is take charge. Yes, the Republicans can try to spoil things with a filibuster in the Senate. And, yes, Democrats won the November election, so they are entitled to shape policy. But only Mr. Obama has a 67 percent Gallup Poll approval rating. Only he embodies this anxious nation’s hopes for change. No one in Washington can match his clout. He should use it to make sure Congress gives him a stimulus plan that is not only big but coherent and, most of all, effective.
Well, the President seemed to have been quite pleased when the House passed the bill so it would take quite a turnaround for him to savage — and salvage — his own party’s handiwork. And it remains a mystery why he has let things get to this state.
There are several possible explanations for his passivity. First, he might actually like all that spending and be quite delighted to see the liberal agenda, rebuffed for decades, rammed through on a party-line vote. Or, he might be incapable of persuading Pelosi, Reid and company to curb their profligate ways. He hasn’t really shown any LBJ-like tendencies or an ability to start knocking heads. (After all, he’s not going to veto his own bill, right?) And then there is the possibility that he is somehow waiting on the sidelines, ready to rush into action just when . . well, anytime now. Perhaps he has concocted some devilishly clever scheme to swoop in at the end and bring everyone together — just as the Post suggests.
But my, how things have gotten messy. Between the pork-a-thon (and the resulting critical reviews) and the tax cheats and ethics waivers, his administration is on the verge of combining the competency of Carter and the ethics of Nixon. But there is time, as the Post points out. It is easy, really. Dump Daschle. Eliminate the waivers. Start over on the stimulus. The alternative is continued embarrassment, partisan gridlock and failure. I think most people voted to end all that, hoping for a change.