Republicans, hypocrisy and the stimulus

Hypocrisy is no stranger to politics but the ability of Republican members of Congress to oppose the recently-enacted economic stimulus plan while promoting some provisions in press releases takes doublespeak to a new level.

It reminds me of a time in 1987 when I ran the political action committee of the National Association of Realtors. Republcian hypocrites like Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would go on the floor of the Senate and call for the elimination of PACs and then go back to his office, pick up the phone and call us to ask when he would get his campaign check.

There is no shame in politics.

Reports Michael Falcone in The New York Times:

Republican lawmakers resisted, nearly unanimously, supporting the president’s $787 billion stimulus package, but what has proved irresistible is the temptation to take credit for at least a few of those billions.

Despite railing against the bill as wasteful, a handful of Republican members of the House and Senate have found some provisions to cheer.

Just hours after voting against the bill on the House floor last week, Representative John L. Mica, of Florida issued one press releases lauding the inclusion of $8 billion for investment in high-speed rail around the country and another for financing a commuter train project in his central Florida district.

“If we could put a man on the moon, we should be able to move people from city to city quickly instead of wasting time on a congested highway,” said Mr. Mica, who is the ranking Republican on the House transportation and infrastructure committee. “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future.”

Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the unlikely chorus of praise from Mr. Mica and other G.O.P. lawmakers “the height of hypocrisy.”