By Styles Cradgerock, WASHINGTON – Despite his good looks and boyish smile, despite his taste in music (Springsteen) and way with words (“Yes we can”) it appears that fewer and fewer Americans want to touch his bulging stimulus package.
Plans to reveal the package were met with shrieks and flush red faces in the House of Representatives, the ruling body of the good old USA. This turnabout in attitudes towards Mr Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy may be due to a change in strategy says Dr Ray Goolens, a political scientist at York University in Toronto.
“I think that it’s fair to say that when Obama was talking about stimulating the economy – in other words limiting himself to orally stimulating the economy, most people besides religious wackos were ojay with that. But when he jumped trains and started moving towards actual penetration of the root causes people felt he was stuffing it down their throats.”
Still, some like JJ Montgomery, 23, (who has aspirations of becoming Obama’s speech writer one day), say they have booked hotel rooms, made ham sandwiches and plan to travel to Washington for Mr Obama’s January 20th inauguration in hopes of catching a glimpse of his package.
“Obama’s six foot, right, like me and my stepdad. Therefore his package is going to be commiserate with that and may even cause him minor discomfort – I myself have to deal with that,” said Mr Montgomery so softly I had to strain myself to hear it.
“If I could just add something else,” said Dr Ray Goolens. “It’s extraordinarily important to remember that people are going to have mixed feelings about this – it’s natural. They’re going to be on one hand attracted to Mr Obama’s package, while on the other hand they’re going to find themselves repulsed by it; so there’s going to be a lot of self-loathing in the mix as well.”
Despite the despiters some say the soaring deficit makes pushing Obama’s stimulus package all the more urgent.
“I say we should push it and see if it stands up to the test. If it does I’m the last person to say we should go and slap controls on it; I’d be the first one to suggest we all stand up and salute it,” chimed in one Congresswoman, who asked not to be identified because she was not officially approved to comment on the story.
Typically though it looks like maverick senator John McCain is left to save the day by proposing a bipartisan comprise that has been attracting attention on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives.
“Look, I’m not going to sit here and stand in the way of the new president’s plan to, to unveil his stimulus package. That’s his right to do that. I, heh-heh-heh, if I had won the last election the American people would be looking at my stimulus package right now and given the choice I’m not going to lie here and tell you I’d prefer to look at a 71-year-old’s package rather than say a 47 year-old’s package.”
The bipartisan generosity of McCain’s rhetoric was tempered however by his actual suggestion made toward uniting house members behind Obama.
“My proposal my friends, is that before we see whatever it is heh-heh that Mr Obama intends to stimulate the economy with, that we get drunk, I mean not totally totally drunk, but just a little, maybe one or two beers – just enough to create a kind of halo around it or a, a Japanese mosaic, I think that’s what they use in ah Japan to cover up or a soften something and make it a little easier to go down,” McCain went on.
Or did he?