By Brian Beutler
I want to start off the morning by clarifying something I wrote last night. Specifically: “If you’re of the opinion that the events of the past several days are parts of a shrewd political gambit that will ultimately result in the best stimulus package we ever could’ve hoped for, this post isn’t for you.”
My intent was not to suggest that the stimulus could have been a perfect document if only Barack Obama hadn’t screwed it up. It was to suggest that the political setbacks of the past few days might make the stimulus worse than it would have been if those things had never happened. Every political process results in an imperfect product, of course, and a bill this size was never going to be a technocrat’s wet dream. But I think there are folks out there who imagine Barack Obama’s hasn’t been knocked off course–that this will be the best bill he could have gotten (and therefore, perhaps, the best bill anyone could have gotten) and I’m not sure I buy that.