It didn’t take a genius to predict that “preemptive concession” strategy with which Obama approached the stimulus bill would likely result in Republicans still parading around, poopy in pants, bleating about bipartisanship.
Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning the new president’s pledge, ignoring his call for bipartisan comity and shutting them out of the process by writing the $850 billion legislation. The first drafts of the plan would result in more spending on favored Democratic agenda items, such as federal funding of the arts, they said, but would do little to stimulate the ailing economy.
While admittedly the image of John Beohner with sullied underwear makes me smile, it really isn’t worth the additional concessions the Republicans will likely bilk out of the stimulus. Of course, Obama could prove me wrong and masterfully turn the table by reminding everyone of Mitch McConnel’s initial optimism and praise of bipartisanship, but I doubt that’s what happens.
I know Obama’s strategy of inclusion is take the other side at face value so that they will expose themselves as unserious, but that doesn’t mean you have to make concessions before bargaining has even begun.