Rachel Maddow talked to Steve Benen about his recent article at The Washington Monthly where he asked this after noting the Republicans like Michele Bachmann's hypocrisy of privately requesting stimulus funds for their districts while publicly decrying any further attempts to stimulate the economy and claiming it doesn't work.
The easy observation is to mock the GOP hypocrisy, but Bachmann gave me a new idea: how about a new stimulus package focused on granting Republicans’ requests for public investments?
Here’s the pitch: have the White House take the several hundred letters GOP lawmakers have sent to the executive branch since 2009, asking for public investments, and let President Obama announce he’ll gladly fund all of the Republicans’ requests that have not yet been filled.
This is especially important when it comes to infrastructure, a sector in which GOP members have pleaded for more investment in their areas. When pressed, these same Republicans will offer an explanation that “sounds like something out of the mouth of a Keynesian economist, rather than the musings of a congressman who proudly touts his support from the Tea Party movement.”
So, how about it? If these Republican lawmakers have identified worthwhile projects in need of government spending, which they themselves insist will boost the economy, why not start spending the money GOP officials want to see spent?
If the White House is listening, I think this is something they should have been doing to Republicans a long time ago. As Rachel noted, back when Republicans were first complaining about the stimulus bill while at the same time running back to their districts and doing things like holding up big checks and taking credit for the projects that were helping to create jobs there, her blog posted a "hall of fame" with the list of these hypocrites.
They've posted it again here -- An abbreviated "They're Not Embarrassed" Hall of Fame. Given how horribly our economy is struggling right now, I hope someone in the administration was watching her show and reading Maddow and Benen's blogs.
As Steve discussed near the end of the interview, the administration has been put in a horrible position when you've got people like Eric Cantor who said he was for a high speed rail project in his state before he was against it among many other examples where they've already proven they really don't care about the amount of double-speak on the jobs issue. As Rachel responded, the way to deal with this is you beat them up in public for it and take the case to the voters. Why they weren't already doing this from day one is beyond me other than it seems they're more worried about playing nice with the other side than pounding them for refusing to put Americans back to work and making them pay a price at the voting booth for it if they won't cooperate.