GOP rediscovers infrastructure, just not here

The good news is, some congressional Republicans have discovered the value of investing American tax dollars in infrastructure. The bad news is, they don’t want to make the investments in the United States.

Republicans have made blanket opposition to big federal spending projects a cornerstone of their policy agenda. That means even historically bipartisan programs like infrastructure investment are DOA in Congress, at least for the time being.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to hear a GOP senator who’s up for re-election this cycle say on Fox News, “We can go over there and help them build their infrastructure up.”

That’s Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He wasn’t talking about a forlorn corner of the United States, though. He was talking about Libya.

Just to be clear, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of America’s foreign aid budget, and I’m not suggesting U.S. assistance towards infrastructure investments in Libya is necessarily a bad idea.

But for crying out loud, GOP officials have been whining incessantly for months, insisting that creating American jobs by improving domestic infrastructure is some sort of dastardly, socialist plot. And Lindsey Graham wants to “go over” to Libya “and help them build their infrastructure up”?

Of course, it’s also worth noting that Graham’s interests aren’t charitable in nature. The conservative senator isn’t thinking that Libyans have suffered at the hands of a tyrant, and been battered by war, so the U.S. should help rebuild key parts of their country. No, he’s thinking about a very different set of motivations.

“Let’s get in on the ground,” Graham told Fox News. “There is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya. Lot of oil to be produced.”