President Obama's stimulus bill has failed.And now, it seems Republican opinion makers are finally starting to understand the great political benefits that such an offensive can reap. From Jonah Goldberg's column in USA Today yesterday:
That is a statement which Republican leadership nationwide must start repeating over and over again.
From a political perspective, it's vital for Republicans to gain the upperhand before the economy eventually does right itself(which it quite possibly would have done much faster without a stimulus in the first place) and the Democrats reap the benefits.
But will the public buy what we're selling?
All signs point to yes.
According to 2008's most accurate pollster, Scott Rasmussen, at time of its passing in Congress more Americans were against the stimulus than for it by a margin of 43-37. Among the all-important "unaffiliated" voters, a full 50% were against it. In other words, they came in thinking it was a bad idea. They are waiting to hear the news of its success or failure.
Wrong or not, the Republicans were sufficiently appalled by both the substance and the process of the stimulus that they united against it, as did the public. The pork, fake ZIP codes and spending on items never intended to stimulate the economy fueled the migration of independents from Obama and set the tone for his first year: Bipartisanship was out; phony partisan spin was in. As a result, the GOP learned that opposing Obama was not a losing proposition, but potentially a path back to power. Obviously, Obama would be in better shape if the Republicans hadn't learned that lesson so early.
A year ago, the GOP was more irritant than opposition. Now it is a major force, completely outside his control.
Republicans must continue to use the stimulus as a political weapon. Each and every Democrat that supported it in the House must wear their yea vote like a Scarlet Letter.
The poll numbers continue to show it to be a winner. Don't let up.