[Cross-posted on Blue Mass Group.]
A few weeks back, an event took place at Faneuil Hall to celebrate the opening of a new visitor's center. There was a fancy ribbon cutting, with our Republican junior Senator, Scott Brown, front and center for the photo opportunity.
Photo Credit: CBS/AP
Unfortunately for Republican Scott Brown, his presence at the celebratory event and ribbon cutting ceremony reeked of hypocrisy. Why? Congressman Michael Capuano put it plainly:
US Representative Michael E. Capuano, clearly needling Brown, who was seated at his side, declared twice that the funding to renovate the hall came from the stimulus package and from an earmark.
As the crowd applauded the Somerville Democrat's comments, Brown, who has been critical of earmarks and the stimulus program, sat quietly with his hands folded.
Republican Scott Brown doesn't seem to understand the basic premise that government spending (regardless of whether or not you agree with the amount spent or what the spending is put towards) buys things, things like textbooks, fire trucks, road repairs, bridge repairs, and, yes, Faneuil Hall visitor centers.
It's blatantly hypocritical for Republican Scott Brown to be critical of the stimulus program, but then show up smiling ear-to-ear for the ribbon cutting photo op when it's time to unveil what some of the money from that stimulus program is spent on.
In short, it's hypocritical to criticize the spending but laud the item purchased. However, it's an all-too-common right-wing Republican scheme:
ThinkProgress has investigated opponents of the Recovery Act, reporting throughout the year that many of the lawmakers who tried to kill the legislation have been returning to their home states to claim credit for popular stimulus programs. In a new research report, ThinkProgress finds that over half of the GOP caucus, 110 lawmakers -- from the House and Senate -- are guilty of stimulus hypocrisy.
Dozens upon dozens of Republicans who opposed and criticized the stimulus went on to attend ribbon cutting photo ops for stimulus projects, hand out giant novelty checks allocating stimulus funds, and otherwise advocate for (and/or take credit for) stimulus-based spending in their districts.
The ribbon cutting at Faneuil Hall's new visitor center shows us that Republican Scott Brown is just as much of a stimulus hypocrite as many of his right-wing Republican colleagues.