What a difference two weeks makes

WHAT A DIFFERENCE TWO WEEKS MAKES…. Undeterred by polls, economic conditions, and reality, Republican officials are launching stimulus-related attack ads in 30 congressional districts nationwide.

From Oregon to New Hampshire, the National Republican Congressional Committee is going on the air with radio ads blasting House Democrats for supporting the stimulus bill, which the committee ridiculed as “chockfull of wasteful Washington spending.”

The ads will find their way into the districts of 30 members, including Representatives Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Ike Skelton of Missouri and Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio.

“Many of these very same Democrats who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility now have the obligation to explain why they’re willing to pile even more mountains of debt onto our grandchildren without regard for how middle-class families’ hard-earned tax dollars will be spent,” N.R.C.C. spokesman, Ken Spain said.

Oddly enough, Republican leaders had a very different message two weeks ago:

“Let us be clear: attack ads will not create jobs or help struggling families but will only serve to undermine our nation’s desire for bipartisanship. Instead of thinking about winning at any cost, we should all be thinking about creating the jobs Americans need.”

But putting the hypocrisy aside, I have to say, it’s become pretty tiresome to hear Republicans talk about the debt. First, more than 90% of all GOP lawmakers in Congress endorsed a “stimulus” measure that would have added $3.1 trillion to the debt. If the party were overcome with fear about the budget and “generational theft,” why vote for such a plan? (For that matter, why run on a 2008 platform calling for — you guessed it — trillions of dollars in additional debt?)

Second, the latest Republican attacks presuppose some credibility on debt reduction. It’s probably worth reminding NRCC spokesman Ken Spain that Republicans who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility added $5 trillion in debt, in just eight years, onto a pile for our grandchildren — and have nothing to show for it except a deep and ugly recession.

To borrow Ken Spain’s words, do Republicans “now have an obligation to explain” themselves?