Just a brief thought here.
Like anybody sensible, I have reservations about the great big Christmas Tree Stimulus Bill. Half a dozen GOP senators are doing what the whole party ought to do, pointing out reasonable objections and negotiating about them in good faith. Partly because there are still a few reasonable Republicans in the Senate (gerrymandering has insured there are almost none in the House) and in part because they were deputized to do so, by a party that knows what will happen, if they obstruct too much.
First , that Republican party discipline will remain uncannily strong. Second, that a filibuster of the Stimulus Bill comes without silver linings. Yes, party discipline is strong in a GOP that has been honed into an instrument of incredibly narrow dogmatism, especially in the House. But this runs counter to the country's mood, and may backfire.
And this is a losing situation for the Democrats... how? And who then gets the blame, with every bad piece of economic news?
There is something to be said for having the Dems deal with the filibuster threat right up front, by calling the Republicans' bluff. Forcing the issue while the President is popular and the issues are stark would put the GOP on notice and also set the precedent that Obama is willing to face such threats down.
Then, once this shiboleth is broken - and true to his nature - let the President offer his hand.