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Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2010

GOP STIMULUS HYPOCRISY GETS EVEN MORE EMBARRASSING.... There's a reason Democrats have latched on to the story of Republican hypocrisy on the Recovery Act so enthusiastically -- the GOP is giving Dems a lot to work with.

Two weeks ago, the Washington Times found that "more than a dozen" Republican lawmakers, all of whom insisted that the stimulus package was an awful idea that couldn't possibly help the economy, privately urged the Department of Agriculture to send stimulus money to their states and districts, touting the investments' economic benefits. Last week, the Wall Street Journal moved the ball forward, pointing to "more than a dozen" GOP lawmakers who privately sought stimulus money from the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Forest Service.

Today, Bloomberg News takes this a step further.

Alabama Republicans Jo Bonner and Robert Aderholt took to the U.S. House floor in July, denouncing the Obama administration's stimulus plan for failing to boost employment. "Where are the jobs?" each of them asked.

Over the next three months, Bonner and Aderholt tried at least five times to steer stimulus-funded transportation grants to Alabama on grounds that the projects would help create thousands of jobs.

They joined more than 100 congressional Republicans and several Democrats who, after voting against the stimulus bill, wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking money from $1.5 billion the plan set aside for local road, bridge, rail and transit grants. The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year with no Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate.

Asked for an explanation, Republicans relied on the usual spin, insisting that the money was going to be spent anyway, so they wanted to help their constituents.

But, again, that doesn't change the hypocrisy. These same GOP officials said the stimulus is simply incapable of creating jobs and generating economic growth. But their letters to the administration prove that they actually believe recovery funds are capable of creating jobs and generating economic growth -- in their states and districts. It even leads Republicans to take credit for projects that wouldn't have existed if they'd had their way.

The Hill reported over the weekend that the hypocrisy story has given Democrats their "first real traction in weeks" in going on the offensive against Republicans. "For the first time in weeks, Republicans were clearly on the defensive," the article noted.

With that in mind, expect to hear even more about this as the year progresses.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Comments

This was predicted when the stimulus was being debated. If nothing else, the Republicans are highly predictable. If it ain't them settin' the van a rockin' they'll come knockin' for their share, slimy seconds or not. These guys are dogs.

Posted by: lou on February 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Could we hear more about the next stimulus, please? Could we hear about the bright new ideas the Dims got to halt the cannibal capitalism that this magazine is reporting about today?

It seems that instead of just pointing out that the Repugnants are nihilistic dickwads, the issue could be a springboard for, you know, trying to improve the economy...

Posted by: neill on February 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

actual quotes from letters and speeches in which the GOP Congressperson says that the proposed projects will create jobs in the district/state would help.

Add them altogether and you could say: "The GOP has collectively said that the Stimulus Bill will create XXX thousands of jobs in their districts/states, yet they say that the Stimulus bill cannot create jobs. So, what do they really believe?"

Posted by: tom in ma on February 22, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

This was predicted when the stimulus was being debated. If nothing else, the Republicans are highly predictable. If it ain't them settin' the van a rockin' they'll come knockin' for their share, slimy seconds or not. These guys are dogs.

Posted by: lou on February 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

This is a nice stick to hit the Republicans over the head with. But for some reason (or maybe for the usual reason), the Democrats are avoiding dropping the 16 ton weight that would leave the Republicans as nothing but sticky puddles:

All of the country's economic problems -- high unemployment, tight credit, banks needing bailouts and the ballooning deficit -- ARE THE REPUBLICANS' FAULT.

Yes, some Democrats voted for those things, too. But they were Republican ideas and Republican proposals.

And anyone who votes for a Republican is voting to wreck the economy -- again.

Posted by: SteveT on February 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

So? They were against it, before they were for it.

It's all Kerry's fault! or maybe Al Gore. . .

Posted by: DAY on February 22, 2010 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Gotta call B.S. on DAY...

Every self-respecting Villager knows that everything wrong with our economy is Billy Bob Clinton's fault!

Posted by: SadOldVet on February 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

According to the RepuG Congresswoman from Spokane, that 35 mill in stimulus can only fix that pot hole out on I-90. It would, however, be a waste, if spent in any district of Democratic Reps, such as Norm Dicks or Jim McDermott. Not one thin dime for the Alaskan tunnel or viaduct, but, more and more for roads leading up to South Hill.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 22, 2010 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

First Shelby, and now Bonner. Does this mean the Democrats are finally going to grow a pair, and field electable Democratic candidates in Alabama? Or will they tuck-tail and howl from the hills like they always do?
Not all of us are sister-lovin' rednecks, you know. Liberals CAN find allies here.

Posted by: johndri on February 22, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

This couldn't come at a better time in terms of what's ahead this week in HCR. Much of what the repubs say about HCR, they said about the stimulus. The comparison should be highlighted everytime the repubs trot out their standard barking points.
They'll howl at the moon while the cameras are on, but then they'll go home and brag about how much they helped grandma and those poor children.

Posted by: JoeW on February 22, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

The Hill reported over the weekend that the hypocrisy story has given Democrats their "first real traction in weeks" in going on the offensive against Republicans. "For the first time in weeks, Republicans were clearly on the defensive," the article noted. With that in mind, expect to hear even more about this as the year progresses.

Given our party's sad inability to play offense, shouldn't that say "With that in mind, expect to hear less about this as the year progresses?

Posted by: Stefan on February 22, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Federal stimulus money in Alabama:

"Along with the more traditional proposals to replace streetlights with solar-powered lights (cost: $3,479,200), to install solar panels on the town hall (cost: $77,000), and to build solar-powered recharging stations for electric golf carts and vehicles (cost: $620,000), Edwardsville and Talladega Springs have assembled a set of even more far-reaching projects.

One of Edwardsville's biggest proposed expenditures is for a "renewable energy museum and information dissemination center." Phillips envisions exhibits, audio tours, seminars, a research center, and a satellite lab run by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

To fund the museum, Edwardsville is requesting $32.1 million."

Edwardsville is pop: 196.

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/stimulus/2009/01/08/why-a-tiny-alabama-town-wants-a-375-million-chunk-of-the-stimulus.html

One comment to this article blames Obama and another is asking when we going get health care. No mention of AL leadership opposing/accpeting stimulus money.

Major disconnect.

Posted by: Not America Anymore on February 22, 2010 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone else puzzled why the Washington Times, of all publications, has pursued this story? I've always assumed that their priority was at least to attack Democrats, if not necessarily help Republicans.

Posted by: Menthol on February 22, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Am really looking forward to the results of Senator Brownback's hard work in obtaining that $875 Million to build a museum at Signpost 272 in Kansas. The museum will be called "Once America Was Great". Hardee's, Dunk'in Donuts and Burger King are, already, developing sites.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 22, 2010 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

"But their letters to the administration prove that they actually believe recovery funds are capable of creating jobs and generating economic growth -- in their states and districts. It even leads Republicans to take credit for projects that wouldn't have existed if they'd had their way."

In addition to the obvious complaints about R duplicity, add the extreme likelihood the "stimulus bill" that passed would have been vastly superior with a handful of supportive R votes in congress. R

Posted by: cwolf on February 22, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK
Posted by: Menthol on February 22, 2010 at 10:51 AM...."Anyone else puzzled why the Washington Times, of all publications, has pursued this story? I've always assumed that their priority was at least to attack Democrats, if not necessarily help Republicans."

A piece of that puzzle may lay in the turmoil over at the WT where heads recently rolled like they hadn't since the French Revolution.

Posted by: cwolf on February 22, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Credit card rules changed mostly for the better for consumers as I understand because now credit card companies have to notify us before they change rates. Also they cant change rates before 60 days.. am I correct? Well, regardless, due to before the laws changed I am still in debt and definitely need debt relief. Debt Free Counselor gives free consultations for any consumers with financial and medical hardship and they have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Posted by: Credit Card Debt on November 1, 2010 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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