The GOP’s love-hate relationship with the stimulus

THE GOP’S LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STIMULUS…. It’s a bit like listening to Gollum talk about his precious ring. Bobby Jindal hates the recovery package; Bobby Jindal loves the recovery package. Mitch McConnell hates the recovery package; Mitch McConnell loves the recovery package. Eric Cantor hates the recovery package; Eric Cantor loves the recovery package.

There’s a lot of this going around.

Georgia’s Republican senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, voted against the $787 billion economic stimulus package, blasting the bill as a bloated government giveaway.

But their disdain didn’t stop them from later asking Defense Secretary Robert Gates to steer $50 million in stimulus money to a constituent’s bio-energy project.

Gates didn’t do it, but Chambliss, Isakson and other Republican opponents of the stimulus aren’t going empty-handed.

Billions of dollars worth of Defense Department stimulus money is paying for repairs and construction at military installations in areas represented by lawmakers who said “no” to the legislation, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

The request from Chambliss and Isakson isn’t the only one Gates and other top defense officials received before and after President Barack Obama signed the stimulus law in February. Their pitch stands out, though, because of the GOP’s staunch opposition.

It’s a familiar pattern. Republicans aggressively opposed the stimulus proposal earlier this year, insisting that it was a wasteful effort that couldn’t possibly improve the economy (as opposed to, say, a five-year spending freeze, which would have worked wonders). Ever since, however, the conservative lawmakers who trashed the recovery bill are the same conservative lawmakers who think the economy in their area could really use some of those recovery funds.

This started within a couple of weeks of the stimulus package passing, and it’s only become more common since.

The DCCC has even come up with a “Hypocrisy Hall of Fame” for recovery critics who are “celebrating the benefits of President Obama’s economic recovery bill in their districts.”

The campaign committee probably ought to save room for a lot of inductees.