Dave Weigel runs down some reasons for thinking that GOP refusal to cooperate with President Obama’s recovery plan won’t recapitulate the 1993-94 cycle. Certainly, there are a lot of differences and conservative tactics with regard to the stimulus are pretty strikingly bold. Still, I think the upshot of this course of action in 2010 will have relatively little to do with who or what is popular in January 2009 than with how things look in September and October 2010.
The president’s supporters need to be able to point to a situation that’s clearly improving. The Clinton years are remembered as good economic times—we’ve never again enjoyed living standards as high as those that prevailed in 1998-2000—but the political struggles of the early Clinton years had a lot to do with the fact that economic recovery remained anemic through the first couple of years of his administration.