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Michele Bachmann…and the deficit spending bridge project

by Dan Burns on January 25, 2012 · 2 comments

(This is Bill Prendergast’s post.  My name is in the byline only because his internet connection was acting up, so I uploaded it.)

She’s for it, of course: the new bridge-over-the-scenic-St.-Croix-River that’s going to cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

For years she’s been ringing the panic gong, screaming to conservatives around the nation that the US is simply broke and can’t afford to spend anymore taxpayer dollars. She’s railed against big government spending throughout her career, taken (and violated) no-earmarks-seeking pledges.

She was telling conservatives that liberal economics does not create jobs–even as she admitted that it does. (She was caught writing letters, seeking federal money and claiming it would create thousands of jobs in her own district.)

Now, and for the first time, Michele Bachmann is poised to actually practice what she has always preached against: the actual redistribution of wealth, directed to her own district. Minnesota Public Radio has noted that the new St. Croix bridge project cleared the US Senate, and is headed for the House of Representatives.

More after the jump.

The U.S. Senate Monday night passed a bill authorizing a replacement for the aging Stillwater lift bridge over the St. Croix River.

The bill, sponsored by DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, passed the Senate with no debate under a procedure known as unanimous consent that is used for legislation considered uncontroversial.

…no debate at all in the Senate; I guess that’s about as good as it gets when you want to funnel hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars into district (deficit spending which Bachmann says we simply can’t afford to do).

But it’s Klobuchar’s bill, right? And Franken signed on to it. How can Bachmann take credit for it?

All different ways. What matters the most is that the beneficial effects of the deficit spending (the creation of jobs, and the consumer spending and benefits to local retail and housing) will be felt in Bachmann’s district. None of the low-information voters are going to care that Franken and Klobuchar were the ones that made it possible; Bachmann will claim credit for any positive economic benefits to her district–and everyone who isn’t a real live liberal will give her credit for it.

She’s supported a bridge project for years, even as she refused to do anything about her district’s phenomenal rate of home foreclosures. Use your seat on the House Financial Services Committee to stop or slow down home foreclosures in your district? Absolutely not. But a bridge project is high profile.

Of course she’ll take credit for it. If it goes through and she runs, I expect her to talk about it non-stop as a example of “how she can work across the aisle, when it’s in the best interests of Minnesota and the people in her district.”

She’ll get her picture taken with “bridge building stuff.” (Just as she used to get her picture taken with firefighters who got federal funds she was opposed to.)

And the conservative and Republican voters won’t give a damn that it’s hypocritical, won’t give a damn that they say the nation’s broke. It’s Okay If You’re A Republican is in effect now more than ever, with the state GOP plagued by scandals and the national GOP at each other’s throats in a presidential contest.

Taking credit for something she theoretically opposes is a natural for Bachmann. Giving her credit for stuff that she opposes is a natural for low-information voters. After forty years of talk about a bridge, it happens on Bachmann’s watch? “Of course she gets credit for it.”

Bad news, for any future Bachmann opponent. She’ll be running with a high profile “achievement” in her quiver, no matter what the truth of the matter is.

I hope she doesn’t run, I know there are people around who think she won’t. But if she does, this bridge thing is going to be a big asset, and she will have no shame about the hypocrisy: she never does.

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