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The Eternal Recurrence Of Republican Hypocrisy On Spending

Back when Mark Sanford’s name wasn’t a punch line, he was hiking the Appalachian trail of fiscal austerity. His big maneuver was to send back all stimulus funds on the grounds that they were wasteful and unnecessary. That was a long time ago – one admitted adulterous affair ago, to be exact. So today, Sanford is in Washington, after having stopped off at the National Prayer Breakfast run by his theocratic buddies in The Family. And he’s looking for a $300 million dollar gubmint handout for South Carolina.

Gov. Mark Sanford flew to Washington on Thursday to tell the Obama administration that South Carolina wants $300 million in federal stimulus money.

Sanford, who spent much of last year fighting parts of the Obama administration’s stimulus plan, now wants S.C. to have a piece of $4 billion in “Race to the Top” education money.

The money is awarded to states based on their plans to improve education and innovate. Forty states have applied so far.

This happens almost every day, and the failure of Democrats to tag Republicans with the hypocrisy label is a function of being outgunned on the media and pathetic at messaging. Sanford chasing stimulus funds months after calling them socialist can just be put on a continuum, with dozens of GOP lawmakers touting stimulus proposals they rejected with their votes, Dick Shelby holding the Senate hostage to secure a wasteful windfall for a foreign company, to Republicans attacking the proposed Obama budget for raising spending and cutting programs in their districts that they like, often at the same time. There’s absolutely no coherence to any of this, and outside of Ron Paul no consistency.

And yet nobody seems to pay a price.

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David Dayen

David Dayen