it would be hard to imagine the results of the "stimulus package" debate being better. Think about it:
- It didn't pass. Most observers thought it was a pork-riddled atrocity that wouldn't have helped the economy. So not only will we never see it's harmful effects, but the Administration can't be blamed for them
- Bush's opponenets can't say he didn't try. If the economy continues to worsen, Bush can say, "Hey -- I gave the Democrats a stimulus package, and they wouldn't pass it." This shields him from the fate of his father, who lost mostly becuase he was perceived as apathetic about the economy and didn't do anything to stimulate the economy during the early 90's recession.
- Daschle looks like an obstructionist liar. With his dishonest stance that the bill needed 60 votes to pass, Daschle looks dishonest. Never mind that scuttling the bill was probably the right thing to do, Daschle still looks like the one who doesn't care about breaking out of the recession.
In fact, Daschle probably could have helped his party more by passing the bill. If it didn't help the economy, the blame could be put on Bush. Now, if the economy recovers without the stimulus bill, everyone will forget about it.
Makes you wonder if Bush planned for this outcome all along...