Well, well, well. Look at this.
The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity has uncovered hundreds of private letters in which House Republicans (Beltway insiders) asked for the "Obama stimulus jobs" they publicly claimed didn't exist. (See for yourself. Go to www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2532.)
After all their talk that Obama's stimulus package failed to produce "not a single job," almost every Republican wrote private letters to the federal government saying the stimulus is a sure-fire job-creator for their state's unemployed.
House Minority leader John Boehner, speaking one month ago on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, said, "the $1 trillion stimulus bill didn't create any jobs."
That's odd, because Boehner's state, Ohio, already had 52 job-stimulus contracts for infrastructure projects. And, retiring Ohio's Sen. George Voinovich had written to the Dept. of Energy for stimulus funds that would "create 480 construction and engineering jobs, and 167 full-time permanent jobs."
Before he left on vacation last month, Republican Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell wrote this on his blog: "We heard the concerns Americans had with a Stimulus bill … And we opposed it."
Yet Sen. McConnell wrote letters behind the public's back to the Secretary of Transportation: "I support the application submitted by (Kentucky and local railroads)" for job-stimulus funds. These funds have "…the potential to attract industry, create jobs…"
Rep. Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, told reporters that the Democrat's stimulus bill was "an utter failure." This was said at a job fair effectively underwritten with stimulus jobs.
In fact, Rep. Cantor held not one but two job fairs in his district. The Washington Post reported that half of the job vendors at Cantor's fair were companies providing jobs with stimulus funds.
In what is a study of breathtaking massive public deception, the Center for Public Integrity exposed hundreds of letters from Republicans who voted against the "job killer" stimulus bill but then applied for the same stimulus funds to create "immediate" jobs for their constituents.
Republican Deputy Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy confidentially asked for job-stimulus funds for a California highway project, delayed 20 years because of lack of money. The Obama stimulus funds for this project, McCarthy wrote, "will quickly put people back to work."
Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown said after being sworn in, "The stimulus didn't create one new job." That didn't stop Brown from writing behind-the-scenes letters to get those jobs.
So it goes, one private letter after the other from Republicans who never intended the public would know about them.
This August, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a finding that the jobs stimulus spending added about 3.3 million jobs to the economy.
Commented McCarthy, The number of "Americans who believe that Elvis is still alive is greater than those who believe the stimulus effectively created jobs." Looks as if McCarthy knows Elvis is dead and that the Obama stimulus rocks. McCarthy's swipe about public skepticism might be credible given that he and most Republicans carried out a coordinated campaign of deception for two full years.
It was an easy lie to put over. Republican policies that led to the stock market crash of October 2008 resulted in the loss of millions of jobs. Obama first had to stop the bleeding. Then came the recovery. Next up: restoring the jobs. Yes, it takes time.
But so many jobs were lost these past few years. If you remain out of work, it's easy to believe the job-stimulus bill did not work. We now know it is working so well that hundreds of elected Republicans lined up to get jobs for their states — on the QT.
They applied for stimulus funds almost in the dark of night. When the jobs came through, they claimed credit for them — hoping no one would notice that the folks responsible for the mess we're in and who barely supported the stimulus funds are now begging for that same cash for job creation.
Well, the truth is finally out.
The questions now are: How can we trust people responsible for the mess to finally use the power of the federal government to help navigate us back to fiscal growth and discipline? How can we trust a party that will say the jobs stimulus bill is failing while secretly getting the jobs it offers for their own states and congressional districts?
Steve Campbell, a Republican in Los Angeles, answered the question of trust in a recent letter to the Los Angles Times. I'm quoting him in full:
"Editor: Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the Republican House leader, says my government hasn't been listening and is disrespecting me, my family, my job and my children, asking, 'Do you have to take it? Hell, no, you don't. That's what elections are for.'
"That's why as a registered Republican — who has watched in horror these last two years as the Republican Party has done its best to ignore the needs of the country in its single-minded attempt to regain control in the elections — I'll be voting a straight Democrat ticket Nov. 2."
Donna Brazile is a political commentator on CNN, ABC and NPR, and a contributing columnist to Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill.