President-elect Obama has rankled Democrats by proposing $300 billion in tax relief as part of his economic stimulus plan in an effort to win over Republicans so he can claim bipartisan support, but I question whether it makes much sense for Republicans to be bought off so easily. For one thing, as Peter Ferrara pointed out on our main site last week, the proposed “tax cuts” are really a mirage, because they don’t reduce actual rates, which is something I also wrote about during the campaign. And in pure political terms, I’m not sure what Republicans gain by strengthening Obama. When the midterm elections roll around, if the Obama stimulus package is viewed as a failure, it will only benefit Republicans if they opposed it and reestablished themselves as the party that fights wasteful spending and massive government intervention in the economy. If the legislation is perceived a success, then it will benefit Democrats even if many Republicans also supported the bill. So it seems pretty clear to me that from an ideological, branding, and political perspective, Republicans would be best off united in opposition to Obama’s plan.