Chuck Todd just said that the Republicans have won the spin war on the recovery bill and says that Claire McCaskill even admitted it when she said the Democrats had larded the bill up with spending. He says it's now known as a "spending bill" not a stimulus bill. (He doesn't say "who" now sees it that way.) But I would guess it's gasbags like Matthews who are going on and on about condoms and wondering how the Democrats didn't understand that their job is to write a Republican bill.
I'm pretty sure the bill will pass. And maybe they will drag a couple of Blue State Republicans across the finish line and slap a bipartisan label on it. But from where I sit, the Republicans have already won the larger issue and going forward any spending is going to be even more difficult.(That's why this stupid "centrist" talking point about how the programs are all worthwhile spedning but shouldn't be in a stimulus package is just utter bullshit. They will never get passed on their own. )
They'll reluctantly "accept" this and then use it as a weapon to tank health care, further needed stimulus and anything else that Obama wants to do, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility." (I don't even want to think about the hellish consequences of agreeing to this "entitlement reform commission.")
The truth is that they are larding this thing up with as many tax cuts as they can get in the name of "stimulus" (and paving the way to make the Bush tax cuts permanent) while simultaneously starving the beast. And so they are having it both ways.
Cutting taxes, rewarding their contributors and stopping any kind of government spending on things that don't directly benefit them politically is how they do business.
Update: David Gergen sez:
"President Obama has to be very tough now on this spending. They can't just load it up with more goodies. The perceptions is that it's got way too many already."
But you can never have too many tax cuts. No "goodies" there, right?