Just over a week ago, that quesiton was a foolish one.Â I was convinced a near-trillion dollar stimulus would pass.Â But, some things I read on the web the weekend cause me to call my conviction into question.
Perhaps I read too much into the president’s defensiveness.
All I can say is that I began to wonder at why a new inaugurated president with the media’s overwhelming good will (indeed open adoration), with his party holding huge majorities in both houses of Congress would become so bothered by a conservative talk show host.Â And make his upset known to political allies of said host.Â Not good politics, Mr. President.
The new prez should learn from the one of his predecessors.Â According to Michael Deaver who knew Ronald Reagan well:Â “The secret to Reagan’s success when dealing with the left was that he never took anything personally and he treated his adversaries with respect.”Â Replace left with right and that should become his mantra in dealing with Limbaugh.
When meeting with Republican leaders to discuss that titanic trillion-dollar budget boondoggle, President Obama acted quite differently than that great Republican, saying, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”Â He would have been wiser to say why he believed Rush was wrong.
All he’s done is give Limbaugh greater grounds to challenge him, with the talk show host now knowing he’s gotten under the president’s skin.Â Watch for Rush to keep pushing the issue this week.Â He’s got to be delighting in this.
As Rush delights, we see the president defensive.Â Does Obama realize that he may lose the support Democrats, particularly Senators in more conservative states whose seats are up in ’10 (North Dakota’s Dorgan, Colorado’s Bennett, Arkansas’s Lincoln) as well as House members from more Republican districts, thus needing members of the opposition to support his plan for it to pass with the majority he’d like?
His attacks on Rush suggest he doesn’t seem confident of success.Â They give me hope that he won’t succeed in further burdening the long-term health of our economy with increasing amounts of gratuitous debt.
UPDATE:Â And there’s this:Â Even “in the midst of the worst economy since the last bad economy (OK, 1982),” according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll,Â 53% of the respondents preferred “”smaller government with fewer services”, [to] 43% backing expanded government.“Â (H/t:Â Glenn.)
UP-UPDATE:Â John Hinderaker at Powerline notes a Rasmussen poll finding “that 59% fear that ‘Congress and President Obama will increase government spending too much in the next year or two.’”