As I noted last night, there is a growing body of evidence that February’s Stimulus Bill was too small and an increasing likelihood that a second Stimulus Bill will be needed — perhaps sooner than we imagine.

But aside from the math and economics, there’s a point of media criticism that needs to be made. While the bill was being debated, the news media — and particularly television — focused almost entirely on the question of whether it was too big. The possibility that it was too small — which now seems likely — was seldom raised. As Krugman argues, it’s a mini-version of the press failure in the lead up to the Iraq War, with depressingly familiar dynamics.

I think the administration deserves a small amount of the blame for this for not starting the debate with a much more aggressive and expansive bill, kicking off the game with the goalposts more advantageously placed, as it were. But fundamentally it goes back to that issue of DC and the national political media remaining wired for the GOP.

And with real consequences.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of