Centrist Poseur Brain Trust

by digby

Following up on dday's post below, meet the man who runs your country. You may have thought his name was Barack Obama, but it's not. In tandem with the first female co-president Susan Collins, our country is now in the hands of the David Boren of the aught-years --- Ben Nelson (via BTD at Talk Left):

The final package, said Nelson, is likely to be significantly lower. "I think it will be below 800 [billion]. For me it's not symbolism, it's an economic matter. At some point it's just too big," he said. Asked by the Huffington Post if that meant he thought 800 billion was the specific point at which it was too big, he said, "It's whatever gets 60 votes, 61 votes."

The gasbags are starting to get very excited again at the prospect that this new "Gang of 18" (or whatever the number), led by Nelson, are going to take charge of the government and ensure that the vaunted bipartisanship prevails no matter what. And thank goodness for that.

Update: Ronald Brownstein tells us (on Hardball)that he always felt that Obama's weakness was that he didn't have a fiscal responsibility element of his platform. Because, you know, you have to be willing to cut taxes for millionaires or else you aren't fiscally responsible.

He also pointed out that in April 2001, the senate pared back Bush's tax cuts but he got some of them all back in conference so Obama could get some of the money put back into the bill before the end.

Does anyone believe that this congress will be able to do that --- even though the Dems have 18 more senators and dozens more congressmen than the Republicans had in 2001? I don't.