The Democrats took a dive. For the benefit of three Republican shills sent in to hijack the Stimulus Plan, the Democrats permitted the most transformative items in the stimulus plan to be torpedoed: funding to build new schools, health care for the legions of unemployed, funding for our moribund intercity and local rail service, and the pittance thrown to the anemic National Endowment for the Arts. All of these things would have offered real, progressive, symbolic stimulus for our teetering economy and psyches. Why not stand up to Republicans? Let 'em filibuster. Let 'em take the heat of the spotlight for a few days as the mean-spirited, venal spoilers that they are. No, Pelosi and Reid found it more expedient to just roll over, as always. Our Democratic "leaders" need to get out of the way and let some folks with the courage of their convictions take over.
Update:$8 Billion Added for Transportation at the last minute (still a dollar short and a day late, though.)