The conservative commentariat is making it easier for congressional Republicans to oppose Obama's stimulus package. From Peggy Noonan to David Brooks -- two conservative columnists who have been sometime Obama fans -- are both critics today.
And the Wall Street Journal editorial page does its own analysis that -- not surprisingly -- is critical of the bill. But it only strengthens the spine of conservative Republicans.
The Los Angeles Times has a piece that notes while congressional Republicans have easily come up with consensus reasons to oppose the stimulus, they don't have a consensus on alternative ideas. "The party's scattershot stance points up two problems facing Republicans after their dismal showing in November's election: Absent a central figure like the president, who speaks for Republicans? And with its image in tatters, how does the GOP oppose Obama without seeming heedlessly partisan, or ignoring the voters' desire for quick action to ease the economic hurt?"
Are Republicans trying more to rebrand themselves during this stimulus debate than trying to improve the bill? The Washington Post: "The unanimous vote by House Republicans against President Obama's stimulus plan provided an early indication that the GOP hopes to regain power by becoming the champion of small government, a reputation many felt slipped away during the high-spending Bush years."
Ed Secretary Arne Duncan defended the billions for education in the stimulus package. "'If we want to stimulate the economy, we need a better-educated workforce,' Duncan said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. 'That's the only way, long-term, we're going to get out of this economic crisis,' he said."