Had the administration not ceded the deficit issue to the Republicans, votes like this would have been easier. But the President didn’t want to blame Bush and the GOP for the deficit, and he didn’t want to sufficiently defend the stimulus and explain to people that they had a choice between a Great Depression and a bigger deficit. Instead, the President went along with the “we must cut the deficit” talk, and here we are with the consequences. Yes, the Republicans suck. But they’d have a lot less power if our own politicians showed some backbone. And when they don’t, it comes back to haunt us again and again.
I’m not saying we’d necessarily beat the filibuster had Obama been stronger. I am saying that we lost the filibuster because Obama was weak. If the public understood that the deficit was a) mostly caused by Bush, and b) not nearly as important as staving off a Depression and creating jobs, the GOP would be facing far more pressure not to launch these filibusters at all.
More on the vote from Joan at DailyKos.