no whining

From “Republican Govs. Haley Barbour (Miss.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Bobby Jindal (La.) and Sarah Palin (Alaska) have all said they intend to turn down some of the funding. Other Republican governors have said they will generally accept all the funds allocated to their state, though some have hinted they may join the group over certain portions of the bill they oppose.”

Putting ideology before practicality is not unfamiliar territory to the GOP. In this case citizens in at least four states may not reap the full benefits of the stimulus package because their Esteemed Leaders disagree with the rationale behind it, primarily the idea that Big Gummint may exert some influence on their fiscal policies. This should be especially worrisome to Alaskans, who face a particularly difficult situation because oil prices are down, undermining their chief source of tax revenues. Ironically, Palin traveled to Washington in January to press the case for federal assistance. Now that it’s forthcoming, thanks but no thanks?

What I’m curious about is this: if their objection is truly heartfelt then why don’t they refuse all of the stimulus package? If this is about ideology, then why waffle and pout and reject “only” $50 million? Because it’s not about ideology. First and foremost it’s about scoring a few political points, potentially at the expense of your constituents who are struggling to make ends meet and keep a job. Jindall has said he would reject a portion of the money aimed at expanding state unemployment insurance, fearing that it could lead to a tax increase down the road. While that could happen, this rejection of funds will be long remembered by the unemployed and not-yet unemployed. And they vote and pay taxes.

Rigid adherence to ideology contributed to the Republican spanking in November 2008. Some seem determined to repeat the experience, suggesting that spanking holds a certain appeal to them. If that’s the case, enjoy. Your next opportunity for a bit of voter-imposed discipline will be here before you know it.