"Norquist’s Stimulus Strategy"
Grover Norquist spoke at the Republican Study Committee’s counter-stimulus event last week and outlined a strategy of fake-cooperation with the Obama administration on the measure. Dave Weigel reports:
“We should not treat Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, the way that the Bush administration treated Iran-’You’re a bad person and we don’t want to talk to you,’” said Norquist. “We engage the Democrats by being cheerful and pleasant and open to conversation. They say they want 10 ideas? OK, here are 10 ideas. The next time they say they want 10 ideas, we say that they asked before, and, just for the record, they rejected our ideas. When you get to May, who’s the obstructionist and who’s the collaborator?”
To me, this re-enforces the case for making the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, six, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth, and only priority in terms of the stimulus to write the best bill possible and pass it with the minimum number of votes necessary. Stimulus is a great idea in theory, but in practice the results of the congressional process may well get ugly. A bill that works substantively will be good enough politically, and worrying too much about the short-term politics just opens up the door for the bill to get more screwed up. If a giant stimulus passes and the economy stays in a funk, nobody’s going to care how many Republicans voted for the bill years in the past.