Kathryn, senators seem to have noticed the shift in public opinion too. The top headline of today’s Washington Post reads: “Senate Lacks Votes to Pass Stimulus” and the story informs us:
Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.
The substance of the bill looks to be in flux at this point, and it certainly seems like Obama’s February 13 deadline will be very hard for the congressional Democrats to meet. If you were going to imagine a way to energize the Republicans in Congress and show them that opposition doesn’t have to mean irrelevance, it would have been hard to dream up something better than the past week. The Democrats do run everything, and will likely get their way on most occasions, but even in tough circumstances an effective opposition can sometimes at least make the difference between very bad and bad, and it’s a difference that matters.