Conservatives should be encouraged about how the stimulus package debate went down, even though President Obama will inevitably sign some legislation, perhaps within a week. Just a short while ago, the stimulus was supposed to be a lay-up for Obama — there was talk of Congressional Democrats passing something that President Obama could sign on his first day in office, and hopes that it would get 80 votes in the Senate. But everything ended up being much more difficult than expected. President Obama didn’t get a single Republican vote in the House, and had to cut down the size of the bill even to attract moderate Democrats in the Senate. As McClatchy reported, it also turned out that Obama has not had much success tapping into the mass movement he built during the campaign to help him push his agenda now that he’s in office. “A lot of people, once Obama got elected, thought, ‘Well, we’re done now,'” said one organizer of an economic stimulus gathering in Tacoma, Washington. Add the tax problems of his appointees to the list and the resignation of Tom Daschle, and Obama has had a tough time of it sooner than most people would have expected.
I’d compare it to to the scene in Rocky IV, when Rocky draws blood from the indomitable Soviet giant Ivan Drago. “You cut him, you hurt him,” Rocky’s manager hollers in the corner between rounds. “You see, he’s not a machine, he’s a man!”
Obama, the mythic hero who was sworn into office before well over a million people, has been cut down to size. He hasn’t been defeated, but he’s started to look mortal. This is encouraging news considering the upcoming battles on issues that are much more difficult for Obama, including card check and universal health care.