Chutzpah Watch

CHUTZPAH WATCH…. Of all the misguided critics of last year’s Recovery Act, arguably none has been quite as aggressive as House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va). As it turns out, of those same critics, arguably none has been exposed as being a bigger hypocrite than Cantor, either.

Today, for example, the frequently-confused Virginian will host yet another job fair made possible by the Recovery Act that Cantor claims to hate. It’s the third time the Minority Whip has pulled this identical stunt, proving that he’s either unaware of the hypocrisy or just too shameless to care. Lee Fang explained:

According to a ThinkProgress review of contracts from the Recovery.gov website, employers at the Cantor job fair [today] have received approximately $52,716,129 from the stimulus.

While Cantor has tried to score political points slamming the stimulus as an utter failure, he has relied on it as a crutch to bring both private and public sector jobs to his district.

Remember, Cantor has pulled the exact same stunt before — hosting a jobs fair with positions made possible, at least in part, by the same stimulus Cantor insists was a mistake.

Indeed, there’s a clear pattern here. In April 2009, Cantor heralded a high-speed rail project in his district, made possible by the stimulus package. Just two months prior, Cantor fought tooth and nail to prevent that project from existing, and specifically mocked government funding on high-speed rail.

If Cantor were the only hypocrite in his caucus, the larger phenomenon wouldn’t be nearly as offensive. But at last count, 128 House Republicans — nearly three-quarters of the total — have tried to claim credit for creating jobs through a Recovery Act that they fought to kill, and continue to disparage.

While GOP leaders in Congress no doubt hope you’ll forget, dozens of congressional Republicans have admitted, in writing, that they believe the stimulus and federal spending is good for the economy and an effective way to create jobs.

If these Republicans were willing to apologize for the mistake — or better yet, thank President Obama and congressional Democrats — I’m sure the majority would be gracious about the whole thing.