I admire Pres. Obama for making the time to talk to the Republic caucus on Tuesday. He’s a real mensch. But honestly, why waste stimulus dollars on stuff they want (e.g., business tax credits) when you know that the Republicans are guaranteed to vote against the bill anyway?
The 10 or so House Republicans that we spoke with coming out of their meeting with the president were uniformly impressed with him as a person and a speaker, but that’s as far as it goes.
“No blood drawn, no minds changed,” said one southern conservative who went on to praise Obama as “a nice guy.” At the mics later, John Boehner allowed that the president is “sincere.”
Another Texas conservative admiringly referred to the president as “The Charmer-in-Chief,” as well as “personable” and “funny.” But when asked if any minds were changed on the bill, he and a colleague together laughed and, without saying anything more, got on the elevator.
Seriously, if the bill passes with any Republican votes AND it succeeds, it’s the Dems and Obama who get the credit. And if it passes with those same votes and fails, the Dems and Obama get the blame. In other words, there’s no upside for the GOP in backing it. On the other hand if they vote en masse against it and it fails (and there’s a good chance it will) then they have everything they need to run with in 2010.
So screw the Republican caucus. Dump the business tax credits and use that money for infrastructure spending instead.
And, yes, that includes putting down a new lawn on the Mall. After all, that’s a job too, isn’t it?