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May 10, 2011 2:00 PM Claiming undeserving credit

By Steve Benen

Republicans hate the Recovery Act, but love taking credit when the funds would show up in their states and districts. Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, but love taking credit for provisions popular with their constituents. Republicans hate President Obama’s job-creation policies, but love taking credit when they work.

And Republicans hate Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry, but love taking credit now that it’s a sterling success.

We saw our first hints of this in September. When the president bailed out the industry in 2009, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was disgusted, calling the rescue “truly breathtaking” and saying government ownership roles at Chrysler and GM “should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise.” Last fall, after seeing Obama’s policy exceed expectations, and finding that GM was hiring hundreds of new workers in his home state, Corker claimed credit for the Democratic success, arguing that the president “followed through” on ideas “Republicans laid out.”

It’s not just Corker.

General Motors Co., state, and local officials are to visit the company’s Toledo Powertrain Plant on Tuesday where they are expected to announce plans to invest an additional $260 million and hire up to 400 additional employees to produce new fuel-efficient eight-speed transmissions for upcoming products.

Dan Akerson, GM’s chairman and chief executive officer, is expected to join Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the plant at 1455 West Alexis Rd. for the announcement, scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

Kay at Balloon Juice explained, “I’m pleased that GM is hiring. But, it is deeply offensive to me that former FOX News personality and auto bailout opponent Ohio Governor John Kasich is busy scooping up the political reward for a risk he and the entire lock-step conservative chorus decided it was politically expedient not to take. They bet against the bailout. Now that it’s showing signs of success, they’re showing up to take credit. No risk, all reward.”

Exactly. Kasich, like other Ohio Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, decried Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry. The president said it would work, Kasich said it would not. Obama was right; Kasich was wrong.

Or put another way, GM’s Toledo Powertrain Plant almost certainly wouldn’t exist is Kasich had his way. Any chance this will come at today’s photo-op?

Noting that Republicans were “utterly wrong,” E.J. Dionne Jr. added yesterday, “The lack of accountability is stunning but not surprising.”

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

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  • Four Legsgood on May 10, 2011 2:11 PM:

    you know what REALLY makes me mad? it's that the dems in states like Michigan and Ohio didn't run wall to wall 24/7 ads in 2010 saying, "Republicans voted to KILL the auto industry. That's right, they voted to destroy millions of jobs"

    If they'd done that, we might not have had to be bitching about Kasich and other rethug douchebags.

  • SW on May 10, 2011 2:11 PM:

    Hypocrisy is a renewable resource with these fuckwads. Coupled with the stupidity of the teabillies you get the perception that Obama is the one who doesn't understand economics. It is truly sad.

  • c u n d gulag on May 10, 2011 2:12 PM:

    They were booing Cracker Corker at the factory event.

    Hopefully, the workers will boo Kasich.

    Speaking of booing, has anyone booed CAPTCHA lately?
    No?
    BOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOO!!!

  • kevo on May 10, 2011 2:15 PM:

    Republicans - policy interlopers, credit hogs!

    Ingrates the lot of 'em! Kasich is an embarrassment to a free and liberty-minded people! I wonder how many "stupid" law enforcement personnel were in attendance at the photo/op, and what the state of their collective bargaining rights may happen to be at this time in the great state of Ohio!

    What say ye, John? -Kevo

  • mellowjohn on May 10, 2011 2:19 PM:

    @c u n d:
    when i saw BOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOBOOB... , for a minute or two i thought i'd stumbled onto one of those other sites. not that i have any personal knowledge of them, you understand.

    but you're right: as i said yesterday, "CAPTCHA sucks pond water."

  • c u n d gulag on May 10, 2011 2:22 PM:

    mellowjohn,
    LOL!!! You know, I never thought of that!
    And I never go to those sites either. And I never inhaled.

  • DAY on May 10, 2011 2:29 PM:

    If a newbie stumbled across this site lately, they would read Mr. Benen's opinion pieces on political news, followed comments from a rowdy, but polite group of Progressives, with the very occasional turd in the punchbowl. Personally, I'd rather have the feces bob to the surface here, than be Captcha'd at the front door!

    -curious, is it not, the complete silence from Big Brother in response to our whining? If we were given a measured Why It Is So, maybe we could learn to live with all this newness.

  • Your Pal Harold on May 10, 2011 2:35 PM:

    My idea for fiscal stimulus is that the President needs to borrow and/or print several trillion dollars and buy everyone in America a brand new Chevy Volt, along with the dozen or so necessary wind turbines and solar panels to charge them. This will, of course, be great for the environment and the economy, providing literally millions of jobs in the auto industry and in new green technologies. Not to mention, we will all have brand new vehicles. Of course, this could all be paid for by new and higher taxes on the rich, who have plenty of money already. Talk about Keynesian stimulus! Republicans are too stupid to understand this kind of creative thinking. They are such loosers.

  • c u n d gulag on May 10, 2011 2:43 PM:

    DAY,
    I was wondering the same thing, figuring Steve would have to address the CAPTCHA thing one way or the other. That he's looking at something eles, or willing to ditch it. Or that we can suck eggs.

    I can deal with the other changes, though I liked the old format better, but damn it, I'm over 50 and I have a tough time making heads or tails over what that stupid thing wants me to type.

    Talk to us, Steve.
    If no other changes, is there any chance you'll at least get rid of CAPTCHA?

  • Your Pal Harold on May 10, 2011 2:52 PM:

    Americans are too stoopid to appreciate the brilliance of our wonderful President Obama. In fact, they don't deserve him. Just because unemployment is 9 percent, the dollar is plunging, commodity prices are soaring, and inflation is set to get kinda bad while the economy is still sluggish doesn't mean Barack Obama's policies are wrong. It's really all George Bush's fault and the Republicans' fault.

    Our problem is not that we're broke, it's just that we don't have enough money to spend. $1 trillion in borrowed money for stimulus was not enough, it should have been $10 trillion. And if that didn't work, we should have tried $100 trillion. Keynes explained it all. It's really simple, but obviously the Republicans are too greedy and stupid to understand.

  • golack on May 10, 2011 2:53 PM:

    which is why they were trowing kiniptions about the "American Recovery Act" signs

  • jjm on May 10, 2011 2:56 PM:

    I assumed the Republican HATED the auto rescue because they were in the pay of foreign automakers.

    Has anyone checked up on this? I know that Corker was motivated by the Japanese auto industry in his state. How much money does he get from them?

    Watch what they're advertising and look the opposite to be true. The old adage has never been more pertinent than it is to contemporary Republicans, you know, "country first," "Bin Laden, Dead or Alive", "We'll preserve Medicare," ad nauseam.

  • flubber on May 10, 2011 3:21 PM:

    "Republicans hate Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry"

    The auto bailout was begun under Bush's reign, part of the TARP legislation. Republicans in the House voted 91 For, 108 Against, Republicans in the Senate voted 33 For, 15 Against. So 70% of Senate Republicans and 46% of House Republicans voted for the "rescue of the American automotive industry.

    Bush signed it into law. Another auto bailout under Obama, later, was bigger, but calling the whole operation "Obama's rescue" is just more conventional wisdom media BS. Lazy or duplicitous?

  • Northzax on May 10, 2011 10:56 PM:

    Harald: that's not a bad idea, actually. The $300b a year we send to the middle east and Venezuela on oil imports to fuel our automobile fleet would more than cover the debt service on a three trillion dollar bond issue. You'd instantly create about two million jobs in the US, you could tell the al Sauds and Hugo Chavez to go fuck themselves. That alone would be worth it. We'd save 75 billion or so a year in tax breaks to three of the five most profitable companies in the world, it's a win-win. Plus, the public health costs of pollution would decline, so insurance companies would make more money with lower rates. We wouldn't lose jobs in the petroleum industry, we'd just be self sufficient.

    Wait, you were being sarcastic? You like sending a king's ransom to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Self sufficiency is an American virtue, right? You like code red air quality days? What is it that you like about the current system?

  • bob h on May 11, 2011 7:04 AM:

    What is also nice about the auto recovery is that the companies are making good money selling small, fuel-efficient cars.

  • Econ4dummies on May 11, 2011 10:32 PM:

    I love how the left claims credit for "saving" the auto industry, completely ignoring the fact that the initial bailout money was given out by Bush, GM still owes the gov't $30 billion, Obama gave GM a $45 billion tax subsidy that they were not legally entitled to under bankruptcy law, Obama interfered with the legal pocess and illegally gave the UAW a disproportionate share of the new company than they were entitled to. Other than this, Obama has done a bang up job.

    And I love how easily the left believes everything their told and proves their ignorance by proudly repeating the BS talking points, not realizing how stupid they appear by not having bothered to do any independent fact checking.

  • Michael on May 12, 2011 1:38 AM:

    Econ4dummies on May 11, 2011 10:32 PM:

    I love how the left claims credit for "saving" the auto industry, completely ignoring the fact that the initial bailout money was given out by Bush, GM still owes the gov't $30 billion, Obama gave GM a $45 billion tax subsidy that they were not legally entitled to under bankruptcy law, Obama interfered with the legal pocess and illegally gave the UAW a disproportionate share of the new company than they were entitled to. Other than this, Obama has done a bang up job.

    And I love how easily the left believes everything their told and proves their ignorance by proudly repeating the BS talking points, not realizing how stupid they appear by not having bothered to do any independent fact checking.

    Hahahah moron, Of course they were for it, before they were against it....try to cover your own ignorance.

  • INTJ on May 16, 2011 5:02 PM:

    This article seems to be fairly misleading, since you only cite one Republican who appears to actually "claim credit" for GM, i.e., Senator Corker. You implicate Gov. Kasich and others, but based on this, other than attending an announcement of hiring, I don't see what they are "claiming."

    Look, conservatives understand that the administration illegally interfered in GM's bankruptcy process, and screwed their creditors out of what was rightfully owed them (perhaps costing the economy billions in the process), misappropriated TARP funds which were never intended for anything beyond the mortgage market, and still has the American taxpayers on the hook for billions they may never recover, owning a big chunk of a company it is not legal for the government to own, all with no discernible exit strategy. I don't know too many of any stripe who would want credit for that.

  • Kelly on May 17, 2011 12:47 PM:

    President Barack Obama has been doing a phenomenal job since coming into office. He has saved America from the failed legacy of former president George Bush's failed. The only people that does not understand this are the usual ones who will never understand it. They will continue making false claims, trying to take credit for Barack's hard work and pray for the economy to not recover. Fact is after 8 years of fail under the GOP reign our nation is back. Thank you Barack Obama, best potus ever.

  • Ron on September 01, 2011 11:26 AM:

    Excellent comment Kelly, Obama was given a mess to clean up and he has done a good job so far.

    Power of Sales

  • Anonymous on September 08, 2011 11:36 AM:

    This kind of immoral shit by Repukeliscum happens all the time, and will continue to happen, until Democrats stand up and refuse to go along. Why didn't a Democrat stand up and say, "Kasich, you son of a bitch, you opposed this from the start. Now get your skanky ass out of here before I get my 2x4".

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