Republican Governors, who have to deal with the effects of the economic crisis in their states, are lining up to support the economic stimulus package:
In the states, meanwhile, many Republican governors are practicing a pragmatic — their Congressional counterparts would say less-principled — conservatism.
Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year. And that requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.
Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.
“It really is a matter of perspective,” Mr. Crist said in an interview. “As a governor, the pragmatism that you have to exercise because of the constitutional obligation to balance your budget is a very compelling pull” generally.
Republican Governors have to pass balanced budgets every year, so a bad economy means they have to cut spending in order to make up for a poorly-performing economy. Because of that, they’re supporting the stimulus package. Meanwhile, national Republicans–who are largely insulated from having to face the direct effects of a bad economy–oppose it. In fact, they’re patting themselves on the back for how strongly they opposed the stimulus package.
The Democratic Party supports the stimulus package. The President and the White House support the stimulus package. The American people support the stimulus package. Republican Governors support it. It’s just the national Republican Party and the far-right conservative movement who oppose it; does anyone need any more proof of just how out-of-touch the GOP is with the needs of the people?
UPDATE: Maybe I should change the title of this post to “The Hypocritical GOP” in light of this:
House Republicans, as a group, may take great pride in the goose egg they offered President Obama’s stimulus package. But now the unanimous opposition is struggling to bring that money home.
Back in his home district, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) found some nice things to say about the plan.
Rep. Don Young (R-AK) put out a press release saying that he “won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners last night in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
“All along he has believed infrastructure spending, in particular, should provide a boost to the Inland Empire’s economy,” a spokesman to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) said.
“While we philosophically have different opinions, we’re obligated to make sure this money is spent properly,” said Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA). “All of us in the Inland Empire will do what we can to direct as much money as we can.”
Think Progress finds a press release from Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) along the same lines
Remember, all those gentlemen voted against the stimulus package. Yet, none of them mind taking the money from the package and none of them mind bragging about the good it will do for their districts.
The hypocrisy at work here is astounding. Republicans want credit for the jobs the stimulus package will create but don’t want to bear the responsibility of actually voting for it and having that vote on their records.