President Barack Obama got the $825 (or $1.2 trillion over a decade) stimulus package through the House of Representatives but the 244 to 188 vote is a hollow victory indeed. Without a single Republican voting for the bill, his high-profile visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday came to exactly naught - at least on the House side. ....No doubt Obama will indeed get beaten up on Fox News. But his failure to get even the squishiest moderate Republican - including the 11 entertained in the White House by Rahm Emanuel last night - to back him is not merely a big score for Rep Eric Cantor, Republican Whip, and the rest of the GOP leadership. It also shows that it is not just Fox, the loony Right or Rush Limbaugh - or however else you might want to characterise the opposition in order to marginalise it - who had grave misgivings about the content of the bill. The Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill badly miscalculated by treating the bill as a victor's charter. Not that it seemed to bother Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, who grinned from ear to ear as she announced the result of the vote.Setting aside the fact that historically, stimulus bill just don't work, this bill isn't even designed to stimulate the economy. To the contrary, this is an unconscionable transfer of 800 billion dollars of borrowed money to government programs and Democratic special interest groups in order to pay them back for putting Obama in the White House. Decades after the higher-ups at ACORN are hopefully sitting in prison for voter fraud, "global warming" is universally laughed at as a hoax, and Obama is judged to have been one of our most mediocre Presidents, our children will still be trying to pay back the money that was spent on this bill, which is undoubtedly among the single biggest wastes of money in the recorded history of humankind. And happily, not a single Republican in the House voted for this nightmare bill. Unfortunately, I have been hearing behind-the-scenes for the last few days that although the GOP leadership and most of the rank-and-file in the Senate oppose the stimulus bill, they are unlikely to filibuster it. Perhaps seeing the House Republicans stand tall will stiffen their spines a bit, however, and we may see the Senate GOP go to the mat to stop this incredible disaster for the American people. Whatever the case may be, I think the House Republicans deserve a lot of credit. Unlike President Government, they put the American people first and even the most weak kneed moderates in the GOP refused to buckle. So, here's to the House GOP! Let's hope the Senate learns from their example!
PS #1: Although I thought every Republican in a leadership position last year deserved to be flushed after another poor election performance, I have said that I thought John Boehner has shown the potential to be an excellent leader in the House. Yesterday, Boehner, along with Eric Cantor, who has caught a lot of flack lately as well, rose to the challenge and truly led. They deserve a lot of credit for that.
PS #2: From the American Issues Project comes a statistic that shows you how hollow the claim that this is a "stimulus bill" really is,
Additionally, if you're having a hard time wrapping your mind around $825 billion, think of it like this: $825 billion is enough money to give every man, woman and child in the United States $2,700. $825 billion is enough money to give every person in America living in poverty $22,000.I think the whole idea of creating a "stimulus bill" is highly dubious in the first place, but if we were trying to actually "stimulate" the economy, wouldn't it make much more sense to simply give people money rather than funnel it into chronically useless projects? John Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Conservative Grapevine, Right Wing News, and Right Wing Video.