Granted, as Paul Krugman and others have noted, the bill may not be a cure all, but surely it can't make matters worse! I think Obama's playing too nice, he's hewing to closely to the "we are not red states, we are not blue states" line he espoused in 2004. Evidently, the Republicans want to remain distinguishable. He needs to remember his swagger, quit going out trying to recreate the campaign experience (did you see the woman in the crowd in Elkhart mouth "I love you, Barack!" on The Daily Show?)and kick some ass instead!
President Obama should heed Larry Sabato's advice:
The president deserves great credit for reaching out to Republicans in Cabinet appointments, frequent consultation and some substantive compromise on the stimulus bill. President Obama read public opinion correctly: Americans want civil debate between the parties, and that aspect of bipartisanship should be continued.
Yet pleasantries should never be exchanged at the cost of an electoral mandate. Obama secured a higher percentage of the vote than any Democratic presidential nominee since 1860, save for Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Splitting the difference on issues of principle waters down his mandate and dilutes the changes his supporters expect him to deliver. We have a two-party system, not a one-party scheme, and the fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans create clear choices for the electorate. Obama should succeed or fail based on enactment of the Democratic platform. Voters will be the judge of Democrats' handiwork in 2010 and 2012. Leave "national unity" governments to parliamentary nations, and let the American two-party system work.
President Obama, it's time to 'go medieval' on 'em. They're not going to like you, anyway, so just do the right thing for the millions who do. We're much more concerned with redressing the numerous wrongs of the Bush Administration than we are with your doing it in a bipartisan fashion.