Unlike some, I’m not per se outraged by the idea of dropping a family planning provision from the stimulus bill in response to conservative objections. I’m all for the provision, but it’s genuinely tangential to the point of the bill, so if this is really what’s standing between us and a universe in which a substantial number of conservative get on the stimulus train so be it.
But as with a lot of Democratic concessions on the bill thus far, what seems to be missing is the “pro quo.” Where are the members of the House saying “yesterday I was inclined to vote ‘no’ on this, but thanks to this change I’m voting ‘yes.’” Bargaining is smart. I even think magnanimity on the part of a new majority is smart. But when you bargain, you get something. And I don’t see what Obama’s gotten for his business tax cuts nor do I see what he’s getting for selling out low-income women’s access to contraceptives.