A running theme of the early Obama Administration has been “process.”
When will the President make good on his promise to pull troops out of Iraq? How will the President handle the suspected terrorists at Guantanamo? When will the government pass an economic policy to make everything better? White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has frequently referred to each situation as a process – giving the Administration a chance to delay and diffuse questions.
And as Mama Eltringham pointed out to me today, one Republican is turning that back on the Administration. Faced with a harmful economic stimulus bill, Republicans are looking to delay and diffuse too – delay (or destroy) a harmful bill and diffuse criticism that they are suffering from sour grape syndrome since November. So Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia used the same language:
“The House is set to vote on the legislation as soon as tomorrow… Cantor said the House vote on the legislation ‘is only the first step in the process.'”
Gibbs later credited Cantor with successfully pushing to publish the stimulus package online for public scrutiny – a tactic which not only delays the bill’s passage, but forces the Obama Administration to explain spending $800+ billion in tax dollars during a time when working folks are pinching every penny to get by.
But don’t accuse the Republicans of trying to sink the stimulus. They’re just letting the process play out.