A piece this morning by Michael Shear and Paul Kane begins:
Thanks to the party-line nature of Congress’s votes on the economic stimulus package, the plan to turn around the worst financial crisis facing the country in more than 50 years now carries not only enormous fiscal stakes but also political stakes that are nearly as large.
“Nearly as large”? The temporary fates of two American political parties are comparable in magnitude to the real possibility of a 30’s era worldwide depression? One would have trouble finding a worse example of the myopia and insularity of the Washington press corps.
But that’s not all. Writing on Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, Shears and Kane report that Cantor’s model for political strategy at this point is Winston Churchill. No mention at all of Nagourney’s reporting yesterday.
Mr. Cantor said he had studied Mr. Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message. Indeed, one of Mr. Gingrich’s leading victories in unifying his caucus against Mr. Clinton’s package of tax increases to balance the budget in 1993 has been echoed in the events of the last few weeks.
Worth noting in this piece as well is the two-pronged strategy of the Republicans to propagandize any outcome from the stimulus bill. If it fails to work as hoped, they will use that to bludgeon Obama and the dems in two years and again in four. Obviously, any data suggesting it has helped will be attacked regardless. But Rove demonstrates another propaganda option to throw into the bullshit blunderbuss – if there is a turn around in the economy, well, it would have happened anyway.
Karl Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, predicted just that kind of Democratic bragging in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal late last week: “If history is a guide, sometime late this year or early next, the economy will rebound on its own. When that happens, Democrats will argue that their un-targeted, permanent spending actually revived the economy.”