WHERE’S THE CPAC CROWD’S OUTRAGE?…. If there’s one point that’s started entering the political bloodstream in earnest this week, it’s the notion of Republican hypocrisy on the stimulus. Keeping an eye on the CPAC event, it’s curious that this seems to be deliberately ignored.
By now, the phenomenon is hard to miss. In Washington, Republicans say they loathe the recovery effort, believe it’s incapable of helping the economy, and are proud to have voted against it. When it comes to their states/districts/constituents, however, the identical GOP lawmakers love the recovery effort and believe it’s vital to improving the economy in their area. In some cases, Republicans have even taken credit for stimulus projects they opposed — projects that wouldn’t even exist if they had their way.
The examples keep piling up.
[Wednesday] marked the one-year anniversary of the historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus. Despite being called a success by most economists and independent analysts, Republicans have mocked the stimulus, calling it a boondoggle that has “failed to create a single job.” Essentially, the GOP has lied about the stimulus in order to justify their unified opposition to its passage.
Yesterday, GOP.gov, the official website for the House Republican caucus, continued the anti-stimulus drumbeat, blaring press releases calling the stimulus a failure. Ironically, posted just above two releases attacking the stimulus, the website features a release from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) taking credit for $35 million dollars in stimulus highway money.
This is hardly new. There are 178 members of the House Republican caucus. All told, 91 of them — more than half of the entire caucus — have either taken credit for stimulus-financed projects and/or requested stimulus money to help boost the economy in their area.
In the context of the ongoing Conservative Political Action Conference, it leads to a fairly straightforward question: are far-right activists O.K. with all of this? Does the CPAC/Tea Party crowd have principles they take seriously, or are they content to listen to Republican hacks reject and embrace President Obama’s recovery campaign at the same time?
It appears the GOP leadership is playing its activist base for fools. If the right-wing “movement” has a problem with that, CPAC should be the place for them to say so.