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Lame Duck Endgame: Stimulus II

Friday, December 10, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Charles Krauthammer evaluates the week that is coming to a close and declares, correctly, that President Obama worked the GOP over.

“The remaining question,” writes Charles, “is whether [House Democrats] are just stupid enough to not understand – and therefore vote down – the swindle of the year just pulled off by their own president.” Krauthammer does not seem to credit even a remote possibility that the GOP might wake up and kill the deal.

Krauthammer on the GOP:

Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

Exactly. The House GOP is just now beginning to hear from the Tea Party activists so there is still a chance that enough of them follow Jeff Flake, John Campbell and other serious-about-spending representatives into opposing the deal that, combined with the crazy left, the deal can be killed and the
tax solution hammered out in the new Congress. But don’t count on it. That would require a lot of Members to buck leadership, and after the chairmanship elections of this week, that just isn’t happening. To borrow from the Who: Meet the new House, same as the old House.

What’s in the Senate version of Stimulus II. From The Hill:

In a statement Thursday night, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode called extension of the grant program a “great day for American workers.”

“We have a lot of work to do to ensure that this victory is upheld in the House and Senate, and signed by the president, but we saw an outpouring of support this week that was truly inspiring,” she said.

The bill also includes an increase in tax relief for mass transit, an extension of tax benefits for property owners who set aside land for conservation, and a special tax deduction for elementary and secondary school teachers.

That’s what you voted for, right?

If Senator Hatch votes for this and Congressman Chaffetz against it, the Utah GOP senate nomination may be over. The good news for Hatch is that Chaffetz went wobbly on last night’s show (see below.)

If after being routed on the tax-and-spend-spend-spend bill the Senate GOP fails to stop START (and this is a bad sign of a rush to year-end headlines as well as this declaration from Maine) the lame duck session will have been a huge win for President Obama, and conservatives will simply have to hope that the anger of the Tea Parties and the astonishment of longtime conservative activists will impress the D.C. GOP on the need to change almost every particular in how they operate, especially the cloistered insistence that they know what the country wants.


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