Sunday, October 24, 2010

A man of principles

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is one many GOP leaders who have been endeavoring to make "stimulus" as dirty a word as "bailout" and "takeover." (Which is interesting itself, since the bailout and takeover of the banks was done at the behest of the George W. Bush administration, before the election, in October 2008, and was supported by 91 Republican representatives and 34 Republican senators including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell — the same Mitch McConnell who had the chutzpah to go on TV recently railing against the bank takeover as a prime example of the "extreme" government that the radical Obama administration has brought to the land of liberty. At least McConnell wasn't as blatant as Rush Limbaugh's revisionism; "chutzpah" doesn't even begin to do justice to Limbaugh's big-lie fabrication that "not one Republican voted for the TARP bailout.")

Sessions was on TV the other day, too, where he went so far as to claim that the 2009 stimulus bill — the $787 billion Recovery and Reinvestment Act — "has created not only unemployment, but the big circumstance with the debt that we’re dealing with." Not that that stopped Sessions himself from soliciting $81 million under the Act for a road and rail project in his district, or from arguing (in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood) that the project "will create jobs" — and, yes, "stimulate the economy."

Asked about this small contradiction in his political philosophy, Sessions explained it as a question of his principled opposition to Democratic policy, apparently redefining the term to mean "opposed to in theory, as distinct from practice." Sessions said:
"What I have not done is allow my strong, principled objection to the bill to prevent me from asking federal agencies for their full consideration of critical infrastructure and competitive grant projects for North Texas when asked to do so by my constituents."