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Seamans: Appearance Of Hypocrisy

03/04/10 7:55AM By Bill Seamans
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(HOST) According to commentator Bill Seamans, a recent discovery suggests that opposition of the stimulus bill doesn't equate with not accepting stimulus funds.

(SEAMANS) The legion of pundits whose assertive wisdom fills our newspapers and supplies endless talking points for the talk show industry have made an important impact on our thinking.  Their opinions - however agenda driven - sustain a national discourse among we the people arguing about what is right and what is wrong, and who is responsible, and what can we do about it.

Even those who might have been inclined to support President Obama on some initiatives were swamped by the tidal wave of Republican criticism of Obama's stimulus bill - the pundits dissecting every possible angle of conservative opposition. Then a big journalistic quake hit the Beltway.  The Wall Street Journal, whose conservative tone is said to have been bent more to the right by its new owner, Rupert Murdoch, published a huge and hardly conservative surprise.  The Journal reported that it had acquired letters written by more than a dozen Republican lawmakers asking for stimulus money for job-creating projects in their districts.  Surprise because all but three had voted against the bill and called it a waste and socialism.

This sensational disclosure left the punditry desperately reversing gears to explain and analyze the new situation that demanded the use of the word HYPOCRISY.   The Democrats upped the ante claiming that 116 Republican governors, senators, and representatives who had spent the year smearing Obama's stimulus plan had quietly requested funds to create jobs back home where the voters live - and some of them even took credit for projects at ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Now I can well appreciate how the pundits had to painfully undo all their suggestions of exclusive access to the the Republican side of the stimulus story - especially all the quotes they used from those anonymous sources who had trashed Obama's bill.  And surprisingly some prominent celebrities popped up - among them Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential Republican presidential candidate, who attacked the Recovery Act while using its funds to balance his state budget.  Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican whip Eric Cantor, who had gone all out to kill the bill, also went to the stimulus cash window - McConnell for a military project in Kentucky and Cantor for a high-speed rail project in Virginia.  And as we said, there are many more who have applied for their slice of what they called socialism.

As for the pundits painfully rowing back after the Wall Street Journal story, a Beltway sage once said, "All pundits ever do is come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded."  In this case they find themselves in a circular firing squad.
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