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Of Course They’ll Take the $$$$$

We knew this would happen, didn’t we?

The Republicans argued and argued against the Obama stimulus package. Not a single GOP House member voted for it. Not one. I think only three Republican moderates crossed over to support the historic legislation. The Republicans were dead set against the stimulus package. It was wrong. They wanted nothing to do with.

Until the legislation passed.

Now Republicans are lining up to demand their share of the pie. What happened to the principle of being against economic stimulus? At least Bobby Jindal in Louisiana is thinking of not taking the stimulus money. According to this column I’m posting from Politico.com, he seems to be the exception:

“Just before the big stimulus vote last week, I asked a senior House Democratic aide if Nancy Pelosi was worried about the serious PR beating Dems were enduring prior to passage.

“When will you guys turn it around?” I wanted to know.

The aide smiled, then nearly barked: “The second after President Obama signs the bill into law and then when these Republicans start showing up at groundbreakings.”

That prediction seems to be holding true a week after passage, with Democrats hammering GOP no-voters relentlessly as, one by one, they raise their hands to ask for sweet, piping hot pieces of stimulus pie.

Democratic aides are relishing their chance to exact revenge on Republicans (and at least one Democrat) who tortured them with Mob Museums, ACORN, STD and contraceptive funding, and cash for re-sodding the National Mall. And Republicans are caught between defending their “no” votes while welcoming the massive infusion of federal relief into their hard-hit districts.

Some for-it-after-they-were-against-it examples (full list here via the DCCC):

— Don Young (R-Alaska): “Alaskan Congressman Don Young won a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small business owners last night in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

— Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), via Twitter: “If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time. Stimulus incentive is very generous! Up to 8k! Check it out.”

–Greg Walden (R-Ore.) – “I figure my job is to try and do whatever I can to clear the hurdles and get the projects going and the people back to work using these funds.”

— John Mica (R-Fla.): “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail [$8 billion for rail projects in the stimulus] should be part of America’s future.”

— Heath Shuler (D-N.C.): “I didn’t vote for it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t support Western North Carolina getting its fair share. We’re prepared to fight for that.”

GOP aides we’ve spoken to this week shrug it all off, arguing that the Democrats are winning one week in the news cycle — and that there will be wave of wasteful projects in the bill to vindicate their votes.

And sure enough, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s office obliged this morning, releasing local officials’ pre-stimulus wish lists that includes asks for flush toilets, golf courses, skateboard parks and swimming pools.

Moreover, the House GOP believes they have political history on their side — and that American voters won’t view them as hypocrites hoping for Barack Obama’s failure.

“These kind of “no” votes, historically speaking, do not come back and bite us in the ass,” said one Republican aide, speaking just before the Senate voted to pass the package last Friday. “Voters understand that we were voting against the principle [of the stimulus], not its success.”

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