Is there anything more foolish in these times than a governor of a poor state pouting about a stimulus bill that doesn't exactly address their wishes? Well, yes, there is something more foolish. Saying "no" to the money the bill could provide for their poor state. That's dumb.
From an AP story, published 2/22/09: "Some Democrats took a harder line at a news conference arranged by the Democratic Governors Association to praise President Barack Obama for his leadership on the stimulus. Association chairman Brian Schweitzer of Montana and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley dismissed GOP detractors as 'fringe' Republicans eager to score political points.
'All of us are committed to working with President Obama to pull our nation's economy out of the ditch that George W. Bush ran it into,' O'Malley said. 'If some of the fringe governors don't want to do that, they need to step aside and not stand in the way of the nation's interests.'
The line drew a rebuke from [Mark] Sanford, governor of South Carolina, and chairman of the Republican Governors Association. 'I think in this instance I would humbly suggest that the real fringe are those that are supporting the stimulus,' Sanford said. 'It is not at all in keeping with the principles that made this country great, not at all in keeping with economic reality, not in keeping with a stable dollar, and not in keeping with the sentiments of most of this country.' "
Uh huh. That "in keeping" part? Where was it when those upstanding loyalists were cheering on the Bush team as they screwed with our banks, our military, our land, our jobs, our homes, our kids, our elders, and our heads?
These people act as if they had nothing to do with the reasons for this recession-fast-becoming-a-depression. NOW they have all the answers. NOW they've found their integrity. NOW they stand on principal. Where the hell were they when the Bush Bunch was steamrolling us into near oblivion?
In case they've missed it, let me just remind them that it was on their watch that the de-reg party went into full swing. Oh, what fun they all had at our expense. Their message to us po' folks was, "Get out of our way while we drink from the fount of Greed. Someday, if you play your cards right, you can drink from it, too." (That's how GWB was able to wrangle eight years in our White House. Half the country bought into that absurdity. Their real message was, "We deserve it and you don't, so don't hold your breath. But keep on keeping us here".)
We've paid dearly for their drunken excesses, and the bills keep piling up. They nearly destroyed us and now, instead of feeling any sense of shame, they want to shove us aside again in order to keep their swanky soirees going.
(By the way, last night, when President Obama addressed congress for the first time, he introduced Ty'Sheoma Bethea, a high school student from South Carolina--Sanford's state--who had written a letter to members of congress pleading for help to save her crumbling school. Obama quoted from her letter: "We are not quitters. That's what she said. We are not quitters." Tell that to Mark Sanford.)
Here in Michigan, a labor state, we're hurting more than most because we're still under the apparent delusion that manufacturing is a necessary component to a strong, vibrant nation. Silly us.
In her weekly radio address, our governor, Jennifer Granholm, said, "We will be using this federal recovery funding to create all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people. We'll create jobs today building infrastructure, fixing roads and bridges, and repairing sewers all across the state. And we'll create jobs tomorrow by creating demand for new alternative energy products and projects. We'll be investing in a new energy infrastructure and weatherizing homes and businesses from one end of the state to the other."
Sounds like a plan. So if Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour don't want the money for the people of their states--and if the people of their states go along with that whole cutting-off-their-noses-to-spite-their-faces game--we Michiganders will gladly take it off their hands. We have plenty of uses for it, none of which involves lining pockets or selling down rivers.