The way this was supposed to play out was relatively straightforward. Barack Obama proposes a massive stimulus measure, and the opposition vocally opposes the irresponsible spending. Obama makes a few half-hearted attempts to reconcile with the Republicans, but in the end he passes his stimulus bill with little to no Republican support. They go on TV to decry the “business as usual” partisanship, and then when the effects of the stimulus are not immediately clear, Republicans reiterate that it was ill-advised.
But then Obama started inviting members to Super Bowl parties, and holding office hours, and coming to Capitol Hill for negotiating sessions. He started giving consideration to the Republican’s outlandish additions. He refused to let his party pass the bill without Republican support.
And the days wore on. And here we are. I am curious to see how it all turns out, and who comes out looking better, and what difference it makes in the end. Already Obama’s approval ratings have gone down 6 points. In that time Congressional Republicans have seen steeper drops, and Congressional Democrats haven’t been doing very well either, but Obama is the one to watch.