Remember 2009? When stimulus was supposed to save us all? When we believed that it was all going to "shovel ready projects, and not ACORN? Looking back, the Democratic Party had in its grasp the possibility of ensuring popularity and success for years to come. And the screwed it up (thankfully!)
I am not saying that the stimulus would have successfully turned around the economy. It would not have done that any more than the New Deal helped in the 1930s. But people in the 1930s could actually see work and effort going on around them. Franklin Roosevelt and his economic team, for all their lack of understanding, or even belief, in prosperity, understood that actual work that actually improved communities had to be done.
Imagine if Obama and Congress had taken half of what they spent and used it on actual infrastructure projects? What if they built a new water plant for Keyser and a new sewage plant for Westernport? What if they worked on roads, bridges, existing schools, sidewalks, and the like? What if they went into towns with century old sewer systems and rebuilt them? What if they emphasized long neglected rural development instead of dumping money into Obama's base and the federal bureaucracy?
The Democrats would have made substantial inroads into Republican country. Rural folks are grateful for recognition and help. They will vote for you if you deliver something helpful even if they do not share your ideology. Obama and his brand of Democratic Party never had any connection with Middle America. If they listened, they would know, but they barely speak our language, much less understand us. Obama approached the recession/depression with the idea of reforming America to fit his radical agenda. If he had just helped to rebuild it, without the radical leftism, thank you very much, he would have done a lot more good.