Whether or not it's the right package is a whole separate topic. But as a legislative achievement, coming so early in the term, this is astonishing.
Obama comes to office with a mandate the likes of which we haven't seen since FDR in 1933, has to fight like hell to get an inadequate bill addressing a looming catastrophe through Congress, and we are supposed to hail it as a triumph.
1) Whether or not it's "the right package" is, in the end, the only topic that matters. Either this stimulus works or the shit hits the fan.
2) Was getting this bill through a Democratically controlled Congress a legislational achievement like Bush getting through his giant tax cut in 2001, when he had no mandate at all? Reagan's Reconciliation Act in 1981, when he was working against a Democratic Congress? It's absurd.
The Republican ship ran aground because they were entirely incapable of self criticism, and refused to listen to criticism from outside (it didn't help them any that the press corps was the exact same way -- both towards itself and towards Bush, but that really is a "whole separate topic"). Everything Bush did was brilliant; people who pointed out that Bush was fucking up were dismissed as "Bush bashers." As things spun more and more out of control, the Republicans became more and more delusional, fucking things up more and more, and alienating more and more people in the process. It's too late for Obama to rectify his fuckup of the stimulus plan, but it isn't too late for him, and those of us on the left who hope he does a better job in the future, to learn at least this one lesson from the past eight years.
As an aside, printing a letter from someone without comment has got to be one of the most worthless and cowardly things a blogger can do. At least have the balls to express an opinion on it. If I want to read letters to the editor, I'll pick up a newspaper.