Bipartisanship offers little shelter over the long run. The stimulus will be expensive, more expensive than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined and Nancy Pelosi, Senate majority leader, has called it a mere “down payment”. The stimulus bill, whether it succeeds or fails, could be the Democrats’ Iraq. Like Iraq, it is a long-standing partisan project that is being marketed as an ad hoc response to a national emergency. It reflects the pre-existing wishes of the party’s most powerful interest groups more than the pre-existing wishes of the country. Democrats are now liable to be judged by the standard they created when they abandoned the Bush administration over the Iraq war: you break it, you own it.