Claiming undeserving credit

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.”