The First Consequence of the GOP’s Stimulus Stonewall


We knew there would repercussions for the GOP’s decision to vote against the stimulus bill en masse (provided that the economy improves), but I definitely didn’t think it would be this quick. A Republican congressman in Louisiana’s 2nd district, which is reliably Democratic, is facing a recall petition because of his No vote.

The kicker? The congressman is Anh “Joseph” Cao, one of a very small group of minority lawmakers in the GOP and a man who’s victory in a special election caused House Minority Leader John Boehner to crow “The Future is Cao.”

Cao originally promised to vote for the stimulus bill, saying, “I’m voting along what my conscience dictates and the needs of the 2nd Congressional District dictate, even if I were to be the only member of the GOP to vote for the stimulus package.” He was goaded into changing his vote by the Republican leadership. Now his failure of conscience may cost him.

Update: Some interesting numbers, in light of this topic: “The [approval rating] for Congressional Democrats is at 49%-45%, while Republicans are at 33%-59%…. Only 30% say Obama hasn’t done enough to cooperate with Republicans in Congress — the GOP base vote, basically — while 62% say he’s doing the right amount and 6% say it’s been too much. Flipping it around, only 27% say Republicans have done enough to cooperate with Obama.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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