Great story by the Washington Post today on the false choice President Barack Obama is trying to sell to the American people:
President Obama likes to portray the battle over the economic stimulus package that passed the Senate on Tuesday as a stark choice between his approach and that of those who would “do nothing.”
But in truth, few of those involved in the stimulus debate are suggesting that the government should not take action to aid the cratering economy.
Many of the president’s fiercest congressional critics support a stimulus package of similar size but think it should be built around a much higher proportion of tax cuts than new spending. Others have called for a plan that is half the size of the one headed for a House-Senate conference — still massive by historical standards.
Indeed we have put out our own plan which would create 1.3 million jobs by 2010 and cost only $640 billion over three years.
The Post goes on to point out that President Obama’s “my way or the highway” rhetoric is not new:
But if Republicans express frustration about Obama’s rhetorical device, they need only look back to the man he succeeded for precedent. George W. Bush was proficient at setting up straw men when arguing for his policies, only to tear down the positions of those phantom opponents as irresponsible, unworkable or downright shameful in comparison with his own.
During debates with Democrats about the Iraq war, Bush often cast his rivals as believing that “the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day.” He sometimes derided critics of his health-care policies as people “who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care.” Talking about the fight against terrorism, Bush often warned of those “who say we are not at war.”