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The Great Republican Flip-Flop

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Photo by Hamish Rickerby. Flickr License: Creative Commons AttributionLast week not a single Republican voted for the stimulus proposal that passed through the U.S. House of Representatives.

Not a one.

The media widely reported on the Republican's obvious snubbing of the proposal.

This included a ton of coverage on how conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh may now be the new voice of the Republican party, particularly since he proudly announced on air that he hoped President Obama would fail.

U.S. News and World Report noted:

The House, controlled by Democrats, approved the $819 billion package on a vote of 244 to 188 January 28, with not a single Republican supporting it.

This signaled that the GOP might be more interested in hewing to its conservative ideology and playing the role of opposition party than in finding common ground with the new Democratic president. Partisan divisions in the Senate, which is expected to vote on the package in the next few days, are also severe.

This week, as Digital Journal reports, the economic stimulus package is on the floor of the U.S. Senate and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) has said that it is unlikely to pass.

Now, I understand that it's important to get the stimulus plan right. All the I's need to be dotted and the T's need to be crossed on this one to ensure the funds get into the right hands and are used to their fullest potential to jump start our sinking economy post-haste.

That having been said, it still irks me how last September presidential candidate John McCain was all over my television taking credit for partially spearheading the initiative to bail out the banks, saying how crucial it was to stimulating our nation's economic health and restoring faith in our financial systems...basically a lot of the same things President Obama is saying today.

Remember that?

But now, just a few months and one failed presidential race later, Senator

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reports that he even that he sent out an email to his presidential campaign's database of supporters calling on Americans to sign a petition against the stimulus plan.

Washington Post political columnist E. J. Dionne wrote:

John McCain along with nearly everyone else in his party is attacking this more comprehensive stimulus proposal.
Republicans -- short on new ideas, low on votes, and deeply unpopular in the polls -- have been winning the media wars over the president's central initiative.

They have done so largely by focusing on minor bits of the stimulus that amount, as Obama said in at least two of his network interviews, to "less than 1 percent of the overall package." But Republicans have succeeded in defining the proposal by its least significant parts.

This stinks America. It stinks badly.

I really don't want to believe that any member of Congress would place partisan pettiness above the good of the people. I mean I'm not living on a cloud or anything. I realize that this is the real world and politics are dog-eat-dog and...yada, yada, yada.

But were not talking small change here. This is a massive stimulus program which may be our only chance at possibly salvaging some semblance of economic stability and staunching the bleeding of, not only our own sinking financial markets, but those of the international financial community as well.

Yes, it's that important. So, I reiterate, I would hope that partisan one-upsmanship would somehow pale in comparison.

But maybe I'm just being naive. Maybe the Republicans have some plausible reason for hindering and nit-picking to death a stimulus package that could be our country's saving grace.

And maybe Rush Limbaugh will reach deep down in his pockets and pay for all the economic relief he's directing his party to thwart.
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Sitafa Harden is a writer in Atlanta, GA. She is a regular contributer to OpEdNews, NewsVine, and The Daily Voice. She is also a citizen journalist for Digital Journal.
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The Great Republican Flip-Flop

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