Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 30, 2009

THE LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STIMULUS.... Republican lawmakers were nearly unanimous in their opposition to the economic recovery package that rescued the economy from the abyss. But instead of feeling embarrassed about the latest in a series of dramatic economic misjudgments, GOP officials continue to rail against the economic life-preserver.

Well, that's actually only part of the problem. While they shake their fist at the stimulus with one hand, they're reaching out for more stimulus aide with their other hand. Lee Fang has this report about Rep. Bill Shuster (R) of Pennsylvania, who loves the recovery package when he's not trashing it.

* Last week, Shuster attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a sewage treatment plant for the Blairsville Municipal Authority. Republican State Senator Don White noted that the project was only possible because of the stimulus, which allowed the state Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to provide a $10.4 million grant and a $3 million low interest loan for construction.

* On November 4, Shuster asked Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) to use some of the state's stimulus money to reopen the Scotland School for Veterans' Children. Shuster noted that using the Recovery Act money for the school would save 134 full-time jobs.

* In July, Shuster joined 14 Pennsylvania lawmakers -- including fellow stimulus-opponents Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), and Todd Platts (R-PA) -- in writing a letter asking that stimulus money be used towards public universities.

* In June, Shuster hailed the stimulus-funded initiative to build a high-speed rail line between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Post-Gazette quoted Shuster praising the project: "I believe we are about to experience a new era in passenger rail in this country. I want Western Pennsylvania to participate in this new era and to enjoy the benefits of increased and expanded passenger rail service."

This comes a week after a Virginia jobs fair in House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's (R) district, where he repeatedly condemned the stimulus effort -- neglecting to mention that the job fair wouldn't have existed were it not for the stimulus effort.

And let's not forget, this isn't exactly an unusual occurrence. Bobby Jindal, Mitch McConnell, Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all have two things in common -- they (1) railed against recovery efforts, rejecting the very idea of government spending improving the economy; and (2) later discovered they liked stimulus spending after all, and felt it was important to help the economy in their state.

Shuster, in other words, is in good company.

Of course, the phrase these guys are looking for, but can't bring themselves to say, is "Thank you, Mr. President, for rescuing the economy from the recession we helped create."

The sooner they concede they were wrong (again), the sooner we can all move on. I'm confident the White House has no interest in rubbing it in.

Steve Benen 4:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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They were against it before they were for it?

Posted by: Art Hackett on November 30, 2009 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Art, it's more like they are against it on even-numbered days and for it on odd-numbered days, although the actual series of flip-flops depends on their speaking schedule.

Posted by: Ken on November 30, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's more like they're really just actors reading their lines in different contexts. Many of them don't know or understand policy, they're just trying to make the people in front of them at that moment happy with some combinations of buzzwords. It is whorish and pathetic: they they do it, that we as a nation fall for it, and that our lazy press doesn't confront them with the obvious contradictions that you and other bloggers find every single day.

Posted by: Rathskeller on November 30, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why not rub it in? It should be a fair question: Dear Senator or Honorable... etc.. on this floor, you announced your opposition to the stimulus; yet - you are now lauding it.

Rub away!

Posted by: sduffys on November 30, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of COURSE the Repubs are against it; they are running for re-election, and they know the American people didn't vote (overwhelmingly) for Obama.

Oh, wait. . .

Posted by: DAY on November 30, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Cantor is the walking definition of a putz.

I didn't count but a lot of the "vendors" he listed as expected participants at that job fair were federal government agencies....that good ole employer of last resort.

Posted by: VaLiberal on November 30, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Re Cantor's job fair - I forgot to add that some of the other vendors were fed and state government contractors.

Seems to me that without taxpayer money to dip into in some form or another, Cantor's only job fair vendor might have been Wal-Mart....but then don't we subsidize Wal-Mart through food stamps and Medicaid for their employees?

Posted by: VaLiberal on November 30, 2009 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm confident the White House has no interest in rubbing it in.

That's the problem. Republicans get to say and do whatever, and we're all too polite to point out that the emporer is butt-naked.

Posted by: Winkandanod on November 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the local progressives? They should be picketing outside these events with all sorts of sarcastic signs.

Posted by: Chris S. on November 30, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: Respectfully, you know GOPers will never admit they were wrong (or that Dem's were right) about ANYthing -- it'd only hasten their demise. We just need to keep rubbing their noses in it as much as possible.

Posted by: lrtc on November 30, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm confident the White House has no interest in rubbing it in."

But wait: In an undisclosed laboratory, in the dark of night, Dr. Frankenbama is building his very own Turdblossom. It's alive! HaHaHa! Alive!

And, at the next White House dinner, he'll be Putting on the Ritz. . .

Posted by: DAY on November 30, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

And just what's wrong with using that fine old adjective: hypocrite? It describes the actions of these twits perfectly and should any Republican complain, simply read any dictionary's definition and ask how what the Republicans are doing differs.
If nothing else, it just might shut 'em up.

Posted by: Doug on November 30, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Don't overlook the fact that Bill Shuster took over the Congressional seat of his daddy - Bud Shuster- one of the most notorious pork barrel, err, transportation earmarkers. Guess son learned well from daddy.

Posted by: Mike on November 30, 2009 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

I spent a couple hours this weekend on the Bud Shuster Highway, a.k.a. I-99, between Altoona and State College. It's numbered incorrectly in the interstate scheme -- an I-99 should be around Bangor someplace -- because ol' Bud wrote his favorite number into the legislation.

No wastefraudnmismanagement there, no sir.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 30, 2009 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Some family members who are conservative Republicans have fallen into hard times... husband was laid off with no jobs in sight in his (high level professional) field due to current recession. Wife hasn't worked for many years in her professional field (quit to raise kids) but has job skills, experience, a B.A., but needs to get up to date. She's finding it hard to get a job in her field without current certification, etc. She mentioned to me that she's going to see if there are any stimulus educational monies available for that as she's willing to work hard to get up to speed. Meanwhile she's working as a retail clerk. No, I haven't said anything snarky. They are hurting and I hope for the best for them, but hope they realize that their own party voted against the stimulus and will vote against a jobs bill when it comes up.

Posted by: Me on November 30, 2009 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

gop: party over country..


Posted by: mr. irony on December 1, 2009 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

...they're reaching out for more stimulus aide with their other hand.

Interesting slip of the keyboard.

The noun "aide" is "an assistant, or helper."

The noun "aid" is "the act or result of helping; assistance."

Steve, are you hinting at yet-another Republican sex scandal?

Posted by: josef on December 1, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

They were in favor of it before they were against it!

Why the heck can't the DNC come up w/a response like that and use it in ad campaigns? It all but writes itself.


Posted by: Zorro on December 1, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

timeley, temporary, targeted, spelling, NOT!!

Posted by: avgguy on December 1, 2009 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Almost too funny, of course they will want to take some credit , and of course they will accept all funding coming to their states. True hypocrites. IF, you are so against this stimulus, and were able to get the great majority of the Republicans to follow like lemings, the responsible thing to do is to REFUSE any funds coming to your state. That will show the president that you mean business!

xmas gifts

Posted by: lokenkristianna on December 3, 2009 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK



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