A few Republican Governors, most notably Mark Sanford (South Carolina), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), and Haley Barbour (Mississippi), have threatened to turn down funding for their states from the recently passed stimulus bill. Their belief is that the substantial spending in the bill will hurt, not help the economy.
While sticking to your principles is admirable, the problem is that: a) these governors are considered to be leading Presidential candidates in 2012, and b) their states have a large African American population who could significantly benefit from stimulus funding.
This smacks of political opportunism, a notion not lost on Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn (South Carolina), who has been the most visible questioner of the governors’ motives.
So basically the Republican strategy appears to be one of acting as obstructionist to everything President Obama wants to accomplish, even when they agree with 95% of it. They are gambling that the country’s and perhaps the global economies will fail, and Obama will get the blame for it.
There are two major flaws in this strategy. First, openly rooting for your country and your President to fail as many right wingers are doing is inherently unpatriotic and there will be a significant political price to pay for that. And second, even if the Obama plans fail, there is no evidence that the Republican plan would have succeeded. Outside of criticizing Obama’s plans, the Republicans have done little to come up with their own solutions, other than to advocate tax cuts for the wealthy, which have already proven to be a failure.
I don’t know whether the stimulus will work or who will be President in 2012, but I do know one job that will be filled: Monday-morning Quarterback.