Hardball is reporting that the new bill is 42% tax cuts now and 58% spending, which is considered a big win for Republicans.
And they are still fighting it.
And when it finally comes to the floor, they won't vote for it anyway.
That's how a truly ruthless opposition party works. They ruin the legislation, are lauded as winners for ruining the legislation and then vote against the legislation that they ruined. Awesome.
But, the plan will pass and that means the American people will at least win something, if not enough.
I don't think the Democrats won much politically, and lost quite a bit by allowing the Republicans to seize the debate. But at least they didn't have a bunch of Dem defectors, which can happen "like that" with the Timorous Ones when the GOP gets its hissy on.
I thought perhaps that the myth of bipartisanship had been blown up,which would have been a big win for everyone, but I'm not so sure, what with the elevation of Ben Nelson and Susan Collins to leadership positions today.
Ambinder indicates, by the way, that in spite all the political back and forth these past two weeks, the administration's long term strategy is still in place:
After Daschle (AD?), I predict that the White House will adapt very quickly to the communication of their new environment, and they'll be quicker to react during the next short term crisis. This week, they were reminded that the message is still limited by the medium.
Long-term, the strategy is the same. The quiet encouragement of moderate Democrats - which totally happened, by the way - is about entitlement reform and standing up to Speaker Pelosi.
The tacit empowerment of Sen. Ben Nelson is also about laying a paradigm for the long-term. Nelson was not trying to prevent a bill from being passed; indeed, he was the broker between moderate Republicans and the administration, consciously styling himself as a Senator John Breaux-esque compromiser.
Looks like Jane had it nailed. I'm guessing they think "entitlement reform" is going to be the new NAFTA.
It also occurs to me that it's just accepted as fact that the Republicans will filibuster this bill if they can. In the middle of a national emergency. Why is that ok but filibustering a supreme court justice nomination was a crime against the constitution?
For some reason I keep thinking about the Senate voting 98-1 for the Patriot Act and all going to the steps of the capital to sing "God Bless America" together. Try to picture that happening under a Democratic president under any circumstances.