28 January 2009

Ideology 1, Pragmatism 0

Not that I'm keeping count...
(From the Times):

The White House encouraged other gestures as well. As the House version of the legislation came to the floor on Tuesday, Democrats stripped from it a provision that Republicans had ridiculed as having nothing to do with economic stimulus, one expanding federal Medicaid coverage of family planning services. (The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that the provision would actually save the government $200 million over five years by reducing pregnancy and postnatal-care expenses.)
So I know that $40 million a year of savings is peanuts compared to the multi-trillion dollar deficits that are coming up. Still, if a tiny family planning program expansion that could easily have been forwarded as a cost-restraining measure is defeated because the Republicans frame it (and get it thrown out by an accomodating president) in ideological terms, we don't have much to look forward to in this new era of bipartisanship.


Luke said...

Ah, but Aldous, there are rings within rings here. No sooner had the family planning funding been pulled than did the GOP vote on mass against the stimulus, only to have it pass anyway.

Meanwhile, the family planning funding will be back in a different bill next week.

Combine this situation with the news that White House press briefing transcripts are now available online (quieting those who had been fulminating about how it was otherwise) and the rumors that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) may be offered Commerce Secretary (thus paving the way for a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate), I'd say it was a pretty good day.

Oh, and they impeached Blago. Better and better!

Luke said...

Well, they voted en masse. But perhaps also on the mass of their conservative scruples? Viz. Rush Limbaugh?