The Politics Of Stimulus

The GOP's nuls points for the new president might make him less liable to talk to them in the future. But I hope he doesn't give up on them. Hilzoy is, as usual, shrewd on this. Obama's public and sincere attempt to win many over, his early inclusion of more tax cuts than many Democrats wanted, his outreach to the House GOP, which Bush merely dictated to: these are all good things. More to the point: the public will see them as good things. Obama seems like the reasonable future at this point. The GOP seems like a very ideological past.

But one fears that the logic of the election means that many Republicans who might otherwise have been open to a real compromise - or at least less partisan rhetoric - are no longer in the Congress. The remaining rump will seek ideological purity and attack the president from the get-go. Having ransacked the Treasury for eight years, I guess they have to earn back their fiscal cred somehow.