John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Stimulus Dance

Posted on January 28, 2009

The Stimulus Dance


            The new President asked Congressional Republicans if they would like to dance with him, and they politely declined.  They knew that Mr. Obama was already dancing with Nancy Pelosi and her allies on the Hill, and after all, it takes only two to tango.


            Now, does that mean that Republicans and the President can’t dance in the future?   Not necessarily, but if they do, it has to be a different dance. 


            The tango designed by Nancy Pelosi is simply not a Republican kind of dance.  It has too much spending, too much pork, too many giveaways to traditional Democratic constituencies. 


            What does Pelosi think about Obama’s efforts to get the Republicans out on the dance floor?  Well, apparently, not much.


            She wants to dance the tango with Obama, not some kind of new three-way dance.  She wants to dance her tango, because it makes her people happy.  It pays off the traditional Democratic constituencies.  It expands the size and scope of government in the future.  It keeps tax cuts to a minimum.


            As she put yesterday, she won the election.  She doesn’t have to change her dance for the Republicans.  And she certainly doesn’t want the Republicans to cut in.


            It is a different dance in the Senate.  It takes sixty to tango in the upper chamber.  The Democrats only have 58. That means they will have give up something to get some Republicans somewhere. 


            House Republicans declined President Obama’s kind invitation to go the first dance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some way to get them to the dance eventually.  It just can’t be Nancy Pelosi’s version of the tango.