President Obamaâ€™s signing of the $787 billion stimulus bill on Tuesday brings to a close his administrationâ€™s first major political battle. While Congress argued over the bill, far less contentious conversations took place in living rooms around the country, from Connecticut to California. These â€œstimulus house partiesâ€ followed a model that the Obama campaign developed to solicit volunteers and donations. Their structure suggests that the campaign will never endâ€”and, unfortunately, that serious public engagement with important national issues will rarely occur.
Peterson writes that, “[o]ver 3,300 stimulus-related get-togethers have taken place.” Really?
Apparently these were largely cheerleading events, attended by Obama supporters, that gave participants a feeling of being involved in the fait accompli legislative process and featured discussions about what items needed to go back into the bill that the Senate had stripped out.
The organizing proceeds, evidently.