Yesterday the President went on television to discuss the stimulus package (which is now highly likely to pass in spite of Republican claims that it will put people to work without creating jobs), and show off his newly grown balls.

Even his tone was a parental “I’m very disapointed in you.” It’s the first time I’ve ever—even before he announced—heard him speak when he didn’t sound actively friendly.

I was happy to see that he seems to have embraced the idea of “bipartisanshp on my terms“:

And I’m happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans. What I won’t do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested and they have failed. And that’s part of what the election in November was all about.

The first question he was asked (complete with a dig at Bush) allowed him to address head-on the idea that a smaller government is a better government, and therefore government’s role is to do as little as possible. Government’s role is to keep up our quality of life. If that means simply stepping back, so be it, but if that means supporting the arts, education, welfare, or public works projects that provide employment (hat tip Amanda), that is what government needs to do.

When the stimulus package is passed, it will be the first step in pulling the economy out of the hole it’s now in. It has to be followed by action on the part of the government, which has the resources available to make significant changes and the mandate to do so in the public interest.