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This whole fast moving freight train of an economic stimulus plan should be resisted for many reasons. Certainly many of which have been elucidated by the members of this very informative blog.
However, we should not merely cave to the Democrats for another important reason. As the opposition, with a reduced minority, we should see to it that the committees of jurisdiction get a chance to score the package, and we should draw attention to its earmarks et. al.. While I can see a political advantage for the Arlen Specter’s and Olympia Snowe’s of the world to play ball with Obama on many issues, no Republican gains by fast-tracking this legislation.
The Democrats, with the help of the partisan media, are trying to have their cake and eat it too. The president in his address on Tuesday stated that this would be a long process. Republicans should repeat his words to the Democrats in the Senate. They say this will take a long time, what we need is to make it take a little longer. Without seeming obstructionist, we can demand an open ended process that will allow minority amendments and oversight. We will again regain the monniker of the party of responsible government. While supporting the aim of recovery, our senators can argue that when the President and congress wish to triple the deficit, we should take our time to see the money is actually needed.
Republicans who are worried about looking obstrucitonist only need to stiffen their spine, look in the camera, and repeat that they are lookig out for the intrest of the taxpayer. If we stand with John Q. Taxpayer as a watchdog, we will then be in good shape. I think a stimulus package will pass. I do not think we need to have it pass just the way the Democrats want it to. I think there will be Democrats falling off the reservation to uphold filibusters and supporting minority offered amendments. Reid and company need to know that we will not let them logroll us.
Further, this majority is of such a size that if it takes too long, as per wont of the Senate, Reid will only look more and more feckless as the days move on. He will then be in more trouble in Nevada in 2010. I hope a GOP Senator reads this, but I guess that would mean they would care what the base thinks!