Shocker: McCain might oppose Obama on stimulus

posted at 3:00 pm on January 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

John McCain hasn’t exactly demonstrated a desire to lead the GOP after his loss to Barack Obama in November.  Indeed, he has shown more interest in scolding Republicans for their opposition to Obama and demanded that the party cooperate with Obama’s new policies and appointees, even where serious ethical questions exist.  That makes his sudden opposition to Obama’s stimulus plan rather surprising:

President Barack Obama dispatched his top economic adviser and vice president Sunday to relentlessly press their sales pitch for an $825 billion stimulus package to halt the U.S. economic slide, as the plan came under more fire from Republican leaders.

Sen. John McCain, Obama’s opponent in the November presidential contest, said he did not believe the stimulus package did enough to create jobs.

“There have to be major rewrites if we want to stimulate the economy… . As it stands now I can’t vote for it,” McCain said on Fox television.

He also continued a theme from his campaign, declaring that the former Bush administration tax cuts, that were particularly beneficial to high-earning Americans, should be made permanent. The measure expires next year and Obama has said he will not seek their renewal.

I’m stunned.  Not because McCain’s wrong — he’s at least leaning towards the right policy here — but because he’s actually offering some opposition to Obama, and on economics to boot.  Had McCain been able to articulate the problems of government-stimulus spending during the election, McCain might have been able to make the race a little closer.

Of course, McCain isn’t opposing government-stimulus spending in general.  He’s opposing this particular plan, which means that McCain will support massive government spending as long as it creates jobs more quickly than 2011, which is when the CBO foresees most of the impact arriving.  If the Democrats shift some of the spending towards 2009-10 and can demonstrate some actual job creation out of it, McCain presumably will be back on board.

Nancy Pelosi has a suggestion:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she could envision more money for the financial sector so long as the government, on behalf of taxpayers, takes an ownership stake in banks that receive the money. She mentioned no dollar figure.

She refused to use the term “nationalization” when referring to additional rescue dollars.

Well, we mustn’t use accurate language when discussing the Obama/Reid/Pelosi plan to change the American private markets into government programs.  That would be partisan, and we can’t have that.


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The RINO bastard voted for the TARP bill, though, didn’t he? And that one also included obscene amounts of pork, including big bucks for ACORN.

I am soooo over this guy. He needs to go. NOW.

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM

chrissv on January 25, 2009 at 4:35 PM

The nonstimulus is nothing but one big stinking vat of rancid lard for liberal interest groups. TARP had a purpose which was to stave off total collapse of the financial sector of the economy. There is quite a bit of difference in the two bills. Unfortunately Paulsen didn’t use the funds as he originally said he would.

goat on January 25, 2009 at 6:01 PM

McCain is still dead to me.

madmonkphotog on January 25, 2009 at 6:01 PM

We prefer All Weather Conservatives.

Patrick S on January 25, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Awesome phrase, Patrick, I’m stealin’ it. Hope you don’t mind, but I actually am one!

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 6:02 PM

MARKETWATCH COMMENTARY
Irwin Kellner: Housing correction appears to be nearing an end
And now for some good news: the mother of all housing corrections appears to be nearing an end. See full story.

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid={0D95CF6E-08AA-4E07-9A7F-301F44A7C2F0}

Dr Evil on January 25, 2009 at 6:04 PM

This should work read Marketwatch Commentary Here

Dr Evil on January 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM

McCain is such a tool!

sabbott on January 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Quite a few very conservative fiscal hawks voted for TARP and a lot of conservative economists supported it as well.

goat on January 25, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Maybe someone on McCain’s staff finally bitch-slapped him and he woke up. Better late than never. Unless he changes his mind in favor of, uh, bipartisanship. At least Maxine Waters was honest in her calling for the nationalization of the oil companies. Nancy is still in ‘nuance mode’.

GarandFan on January 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Let us not get too worried that 0 has lost McCain’s support. 0 will make a tiny insignificant change and McCain will be doing his favorite thing, crossing the aisle to support 0.

Oleta on January 25, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Shouldn’t we stop calling this larded-up piece of crap a “Stimulus Plan”? Let’s call it what it is…a larded-up piece of crap, or “Politicians Political Payback”, or “Spending More Money Than We Have”, or “Only Something an Utter Moron Would Endorse”.

Queasy on January 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Mayor McCheese also opposes some of the provisions… and that means about as much to me as Senator McCain’s position.

mankai on January 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Queasy, I think of it as . . . if you like the Original Crap Sandwich, wait till you super-size it!!

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 6:18 PM

McCain is such a tool!

sabbott on January 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM

*sigh* Are you disappointed that he is opposes this fake, phony, fraud stimulus package?

Chuckie Schumer thinks a lot of Republicans will vote for what Obama has proposed. Let’s prove him wrong.

Buy Danish on January 25, 2009 at 6:26 PM

John McCain has never looked so happy being back on the Sunday shows………….

……….. interesting about the trillions we are going to be spending, not a single politician is asking that we go back and look at what caused the problem in the first place, and make sure that it is fixed so it won’t happen again, before we throw more money at it.

If that message could somehow get out to the American people…….

………… wouldn’t you just love to see some certain politicians squirmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Seven Percent Solution on January 25, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Sen. John McCain, Obama’s opponent in the November presidential contest, said he did not believe the stimulus package did enough to create jobs.

Never count on a political traitor like McCain to actually act like a Republican until after he’s voted on the Senate floor. He’s been to much of an Obama cult follower for me to believe that he really is that far off the position of the filthy bastard President’s positions.

highhopes on January 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM

*sigh* Are you disappointed that he is opposes this fake, phony, fraud stimulus package?

No… but for very good reasons… we just don’t trust that he’ll follow through.

mankai on January 25, 2009 at 6:34 PM

This should work read Marketwatch Commentary Here

Dr Evil on January 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM

How many people have 20% to put down on a house right now? They might be able to sell stock, but if they sell now the odds are they will be taking a huge loss. Therefore, it seems to me that the housing market won’t recover until the stock market recovers to the point where the losses in the market are worth taking in exchange for buying a deeply discounted house.

Buy Danish on January 25, 2009 at 6:34 PM

I guess the check bounced.

Ronnie on January 25, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Yeah, Buy Danish, I found that link from Dr. Evil interesting, but not particularly credible. Maybe in some areas of the country, but here in LA, it just strikes me as wishful thinking.

You make a very good point about what’s happened to responsible Americans’ nest eggs.

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 6:36 PM

No… but for very good reasons… we just don’t trust that he’ll follow through.

mankai on January 25, 2009 at 6:34 PM

He is not now and never has been a porkaholic. The biggest challenge is going to get other Senators and house members to join him and not panic and vote for a horrible bill because they’re terrified of Obamamania.

Buy Danish on January 25, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Let’s just start calling it the Bipartisan Bridge to Bankrupcy and see how many Republicans stay on board.

Connie on January 25, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Quick!

get that man a glass of Kool-Aid!

BobH on January 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Well, we mustn’t use accurate language when discussing the Obama/Reid/Pelosi plan to change the American private markets into government programs. That would be partisan pointing out they are trying to establish National Socialism, and we can’t have that.

“For modern society, a colossus with feet of clay, we shall create an unprecedented centralization which will unite all powers in the hands of the government. We shall create a hierarchical constitution, which will mechanically govern all movements of individuals.”

Point #25 of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party

celtnik on January 25, 2009 at 6:51 PM

So we passed a bad bill for panic reasons and John McCain saw the results of that.Now he wants to lead the blockage of Obama policys. Anyone leading the charge is great but John Macain Really……What happened to working across the aisle?

Gracelynn on January 25, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Keyword: “might”.

SouthernGent on January 25, 2009 at 7:03 PM

John McCain has never looked so happy being back on the Sunday shows………….

Interesting observation. So long as he is portrayed as relevant by the media (and make no mistake that the MSM will declare the political traitor the spokesrodent for the GOP for the next four years), he will play this coy little game of pretending to be a Republican and then voting the straight DemocRAT ticket. It started back in 2004 when the bastard was flirting with becoming Kerry’s VP as a gotcha to GWB’s victory in 2000.

I don’t know about you but I don’t think that John McCain speaks for the GOP and the fact that McCain is still holding a grudge over not being handed the nomination in 2000 makes him unworthy of any serious commentary. McCain will continue to feed the Dems whatever votes they need in the name of being Mavericky.

highhopes on January 25, 2009 at 7:13 PM

So we passed a bad bill for panic reasons and John McCain saw the results of that.Now he wants to lead the blockage of Obama policys. Anyone leading the charge is great but John Macain Really……What happened to working across the aisle?

Gracelynn on January 25, 2009 at 6:56 PM

The flaw in your logic is the bald-faced lie that McCain ever worked with the GOP. He was “across the aisle” so often during the Bush administration they all but gave him a desk there. The real news story would be if McCain actually became a fiscal conservative and worked at getting some of his Dem pals to part ranks with Reid and Obama and vote for a sensible bill.

highhopes on January 25, 2009 at 7:17 PM

People should not be surprised that John McCain is saying he won’t support the stimulus package as presently structured. If he stays true to his historic fiscal conservatism, he will stick with that opposition and further oppose Obama socialism in the future.

While McCain played team player with the Bush Administration’s bank bailout, McCain has since opposed the auto bailout and voted against the release of TARP funds as requested by Bush and Obama. My guess is that he regrets supporting the bank bailout. Before the financial “crisis,” the McCain-Palin ticket had gone ahead in the polls.

So for opposing the fiscal stimulus package (so far), I say good for you, John. To the posters here, I say focus your energies on opposing Obama socialism.

Phil Byler on January 25, 2009 at 7:24 PM

If anyone wants to see a real conservative in action, here ya go:

http://demint.senate.gov/public/

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM

If we let them Nationalize the Banks then we are headed for the worse ever. Those Clowns need to be kicked out. And Now! McCain is a Rino, and he is trying to score points. After his let down in the race. I will never look at him the same.

sheebe on January 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM

For the next two years there needs to be big, bold moves on the part of the Republican party. There is no room for “let’s wait and see what everyone else does”. My admiration will be for those who will risk the wrath of the discredited media and publicly stand up and shout for conservative principles. As clearly seen in this year’s campaign, McCain is not capable of doing so. It’s very likely that Obama could turn out to the most polarizing figure in history within the next 12 months at the rate he is going. Those that don’t go along with this wild ride will be rewarded in 2010. If McCain is defeated in Arizona, a very bold statement will be made.

sherry on January 25, 2009 at 7:52 PM

I think we better enjoy opposition anywhere we can get it. A lot of people who originally voted for TARP or encourage lawmakers to vote for it (Gingrich, Bennett to name two) have admitted that they overcame their original doubts because of the crisis atmosphere. I think it’s the old “fool me once……etc” scenario. The Senate is our only hope Obi Kwahn, encourage them.

Cindy Munford on January 25, 2009 at 7:53 PM

This “stimulus” package is nothing more than another big government boondoggle in the making along with the typical fraud and corruption that follows. It is also a mechanism for the further entrenchment of the nationalization of the private sector.

No doubt many people in the construction sector are creating dummy “minority” or “women owned” firms as we speak in order to garner approval into the coming “Democratic Party Volkstrum Works” and to accommodate Robert Reich’s decree.

Mr Gus on January 25, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Let’s just start calling it the Bipartisan Bridge to Bankruptcy and see how many Republicans stay on board.

Connie on January 25, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Lobbyists and special interest groups Blue Light All you can Eat Cart Off Special?

MB4 on January 25, 2009 at 8:12 PM

McCain is positioning himself to lead a “group of 3″ to cut a deal with Obama to not filibuster the bill if he’ll cut some of the pork spending from it.

kcewa on January 25, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Dr Evil on January 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM

That article didn’t address the ARM’s coming due in 09…
Soooo…got a link about them?

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 8:29 PM

McCain may have won the election if he had a pair and opposed BUSH on the first stimulus plan!

To little– to late.

Bicyea on January 25, 2009 at 8:29 PM

mccain has NOT been strong on pork in the past. he doesnt ask for earmarks for hisself but he has never opposed others doing so. he has never stood up against any bill because it was larded up w/ pork. and this is just his way of telling the dems they better not forget him.

chasdal on January 25, 2009 at 8:43 PM

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM

damn…

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 8:52 PM

Long, but worth a look, eh, jerrytbg? I’ve tried very hard since the 70s not to be political, but that’s just not an option anymore. That was PBS, for God’s sakes!

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 8:54 PM

McCain needs to retire and let a real conservative have that seat.

I’m still on the fence as to the whole “economic meltdown”, I don’t want to sound like a loon, but…the whole thing stinks a bit. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories, however, looking at how all this came about, it seems at least possible that the entire thing was manufactured. Think about it, the media realizing that they couldn’t pound the Repubs on the war, since things were going well, needed an angle. If the media declares we’re going into a depression enough times people start believing it and reacting accordingly. Add to that the possibility that some foreign investors may have had an interest in seeing Hussein elected, foreign investors with very deep pockets who could influence credit markets by merely moving a bit of money here or there.

I don’t know…someone tell me I’m nuts…

BadMojo on January 25, 2009 at 8:57 PM

and let’s not forget George Soros, who single-handedly brought down the European economy. Not a particularly challenging feat, of course, but still . . . Which leads directly back to the questions, who picked Barry, who got him into Columbia and Harvard Law after his noteworthy performance at Occidental?

Oh, and can I haz transcripts? No?

Hmmmmmm . . . .

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 9:02 PM

I don’t know…someone tell me I’m nuts…

BadMojo on January 25, 2009 at 8:57 PM

It won’t be me.

Connie on January 25, 2009 at 9:04 PM

If anyone wants to see a real conservative in action, here ya go:

http://demint.senate.gov/public/

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Thank you! That was unreal. Great info. Of course you always have great posts. :)

sheebe on January 25, 2009 at 9:17 PM

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Title thru me when I saw pbs… Gonna be a hit job in disguise….shocking…
I wonder when little obie will do something similar …holding breath…

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 9:19 PM

Another point…Bill Moyers upsetting his sugar daddy? I think he’s due to retire soon…RIP Bill.

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 9:27 PM

If you read the NYT’s puff piece on Rahm Emanual, you know that McCain has access to Emanuel’s private cell phone. Emanuel is the partisan enforcer; McCain is the bipartisan compromiser.

McCain may be vocally opposing the phony stimulus plan for the cameras, but he has a history of ceding to go-along to get along. He really doesn’t have a clue about how destructive this plan is to our economic system and how much it imposes federal control over assorted, originally capitalist sectors.

Trust and support the conservatives who oppose this bill much, much more. They are our emerging leaders. McCain’s relevance has passed.

onlineanalyst on January 25, 2009 at 9:37 PM

Another point…Bill Moyers upsetting his sugar daddy? I think he’s due to retire soon…RIP Bill.

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Maybe Princess Caroline will get the job, I hear she’s on the street . . .

califcon on January 25, 2009 at 9:39 PM

lol!

jerrytbg on January 25, 2009 at 10:01 PM

wait.. wait.. this is just rich. McCain worked hard to get a stimulus package passed in 2008 during the primaries. Remember that? It was a $150,000,000,000 load of checks to the poor taxpayers (but not the rich) – aka “redistribution of wealth”. McCain voted for the $850,000,000,000 TARP bailout which was about as big a step towards Socialism as I’ve seen in the US in my lifetime. And NOW he’s going to look out for our best interest and oppose a stimulus? He might have gotten some votes from fiscal conservatives if he hadn’t spent 2008 voting like a liberal.

popularpeoplesfront on January 26, 2009 at 12:12 AM

I’ve tried hard to not be political also but this election and its majorly biased and practically criminal coverage shook me out of my bindings.

The big emergency 850 billion back at the height of the election that Bush got nailed for wasn’t enough? Now its ok to go for another tril?

johnnyU on January 26, 2009 at 5:09 AM

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