Ah, I’m sure the desperate citizens of these states find it heart-warming that their Con governors are standing on ideology:
BATON ROUGE, La. – A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.
Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.
U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, said the governors — some of whom are said to be eyeing White House bids in 2012 — are putting their own interests first.
“No community or constituent should be denied recovery assistance due to their governor’s political ideology or political aspirations,” Clyburn said Wednesday.
In fact, governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language Clyburn included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object.
He inserted the provision based on the early and vocal opposition to the stimulus plan by South Carolina‘s Republican governor, Mark Sanford. But it also means governors like Sanford and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal — a GOP up-and-comer often mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate — can burnish their conservative credentials, knowing all the while that their legislatures can accept the money anyway.
Considering how the Con base is shrinking, it seems to me that’s a fool’s gamble. How easy will it be for challengers to annihilate them with “Governor X rejected the money that saved your house/kids/job” ads?
Meanwhile, the insanity in California just gets more insane:
Just to update everyone on the meltdown out here in California – last night the Republicans in the State Senate engineered a putsch, deposing their leader in the dead of night because he was insufficiently unconcerned about the welfare of the state.
Around 11 p.m., a group of GOP senators, unhappy with the higher taxes that Senate leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto agreed to as part of a deal with the governor and Democrats, voted to replace him in a private caucus meeting in Cogdill’s office. Shortly before midnight, it was still unclear who would replace him.
Cogdill’s ouster could be a major setback to budget negotiations. Cogdill was a lead negotiator on the budget package and had committed to voting for it. If he were removed from his leadership post, a new Senate minority leader would likely try to renegotiate the deal, which lawmakers spent three months forging.
This is what happens when you give Cons a 2/3 majority cudgel. And, as Paul Krugman sez:
Everyone should be paying attention to the political/fiscal catastrophe now unfolding in California. Years of neglect, followed by economic disaster — and with all reasonable responses blocked by a fanatical, irrational minority.
This could be America next.
Principled opposition is one thing. It’s necessary and healthy in a democracy. But the obstructionism the Cons are engaging in isn’t principled, it’s just destructive and deadly dangerous. How much of the country do we let them destroy before we have them declared a danger to self and others and carted off to a nice, quiet room with deeply-padded walls, where they can be gently reintroduced to Mr. Reality while the rest of us fix all the stuff they broke during their psychotic rampage?