The response has been predictable. A few short weeks ago, Obama's huge stimulus had support from established figures on the right, such as economist Marty Feldstein, and centrist establishment columnists such as David Brooks. Now, they're drifting away. Meanwhile, the Rasmussen Poll shows that public support for the package has begun to drop.
They know that this isn't "change we can believe in" at all.
It really isn't Obama's fault — yet. But now is the time for him to bury the talk about working together and get tough with his own party. Once this bill passes, the economic crisis will belong to him — not George W. Bush and the GOP. He needs a better bill, if only because if it remains structured like this, it will hardly provide the immediate jolt the economy needs.
The nation is watching. And so, too, is the world. If Obama can't stand up to his own party in Congress, a lot of people will begin to wonder if he can stand to up to anybody.
To read the Stark Ravings blog, go to thePhoenix.com/starkravings. Steven Stark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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