As Paul notes below, neither Barack Obama nor any other Democrat has even tried to explain why the Dems’ pork-fest, which appropriates hundreds of billions of dollars years in the future, needs to be rushed through the Senate in the dead of night as an “emergency.” The real reason, of course, is that Obama and the Democrats know that public support for the bill is drying up as more people learn the facts about what is in it. Hence the rush to get the bill passed.
The Dems have a real problem, however, in that no matter what the Senate does, the process has a ways to go. The House and Senate bills are different (and probably will become more different still), so a conference committee will have to reconcile them. That can’t be done overnight. The final bill will then have to pass both chambers, so Representatives and Senators will have to go on record once more.
I don’t know how long that will take, but the Dems don’t have much time: as we noted here, public support for the pork bill has dropped by a net seventeen points in just two weeks. That can fairly be described as “free-fall.” In another week, say, when the Democrats have to vote again, the bill will be distinctly unpopular, assuming the Republicans keep up their criticisms and continue to propose much better alternatives.
Some have argued that if the economy improves over the next year or so (as it surely will), Obama and the Dems will get the credit and win the political battle in the end. I disagree, for two reasons. First, most people haven’t been swept up in the hysteria Obama is trying to promote–“we have nothing to rely on but fear itself!”–which is why the bill is unpopular. People of any sophistication understand that there is little or no connection between the economy and the Democrats’ power grab.
Second, the Dems’ bill is objectively so horrible that there is no way it will become more popular over time. On the contrary, it will drive deficits to unprecedented levels; lead to substantial tax increases; and probably drive inflation to levels that haven’t been seen in a generation. Moreover, information about the useless social programs and unproductive pork spending that the bill contains will continue to come to light over the next couple of years as the money is spent. Taxpayers are going to become less happy with this bill over time, not more happy.
All of which is to say that, if the Republicans stick to their guns and continue making their case to the public, the Dems will be even more nervous about voting for this turkey a week from now than Democratic Senators are tonight.
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