Joe Klein writes of the public rebuke to the republicans turning the stimulus bill into another political game, and is technically correct: broadly speaking, polling data in general does bear out that the people still love Obama and hate the GOP. The difficulty is that the polls he cites, namely WaPo and the New York Times, aren’t exactly bastions of partisan objectivity. Shaky foundations aside, though, he does make a good point: as Obama moves into different policy areas he’s likely to find more moderate republicans to stand with even as John Boener furiously attempts to play whack-a-mole with his own party, a task that will only grow more difficult as moderate republicans facing difficult races may seek an electoral boost by tying themselves to a still very popular president. Granted it may be coming from the Times, but it’s no secret that the public is rather displeased with the games that were played with the stimulus, and being viewed as the obstructive minority the GOP bears the brunt of blame for it. Hedging their bets and hoping for the bill’s failure may be good politics, but it ends up being a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face: if the stimulus succeeds it further discredits republican economic philosophies and shoves the party ever deeper into the wilderness; if it fails, they’ll gain politically but will inherit an economy no less (and possibly more) diseased. The GOP needs to find something to stand FOR, rather than against, and soon, lest they fall into the same trap the democrats succumbed to in 2004 and become seen as obstructionist rather than simply a loyal opposition.

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