The morphing of the GOP into the "Grand Obstructionist Party" isn't confined to all but three members of the Republican membership in Congress.
Across the country, a number of Republican governors have announced that they are considering not accepting some or all of the federal economic stimulus money.
From AP via MSNBC -
GOP govs consider rejecting stimulus money
Opponents say move puts conservative ideology ahead of constituents
BATON ROUGE, La. - A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment.
Though none has outright rejected the money available for education, health care and infrastructure, the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy.
The article goes on to note that some of those governors have the luxury of proving up on their "True Conservative" Republican bonafides (apparently, screwing over your constituents is a Republican "principle"), because while *they* may not accept federal stimulus money, they can count on their states' Democratic legislatures to do so for them.
Jan Brewer, Arizona's newly-minted governor (coming up on her one-month anniversary - whooo hooo...right Jan?) doesn't have that luxury - not only does her own party have a majority in both chambers of the state lege, it's the radical, anti-everything positive wing of her party that's in charge.
Which places Brewer, the person who is supposed to be in charge of Arizona's government, in a tough position.
If, as the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) says, she is the one who decides if federal stimulus money is accepted and how it is spent, then her constituents (you know, the ones who will be voting next year), will expect her to look out for their interests. Sen. Russell Pearce, one of the leaders of the radicals, disagrees, but so far he is being polite about it (read the article linked to "says").
So on one hand, if Brewer plans to run for a full term as governor, refusing stimulus money for especially hard-hit Arizona could alienate economically-ailing voters and cost her a general election win.
On the other hand, accepting the money will almost certainly motivate a primary challenge from Pearce's radical wing of the GOP, and given the wingnuts' defeat of moderate Reps last September, such a challenge could very well generate a high enough turnout of the radicals to unseat Brewer even before the general election.
So she's got problems either way she goes, if she pursues a full term.
If she chooses not to seek a full term, that would free her from factoring electoral considerations into her decisions on stimulus money. However, even if electoral considerations are removed from the decision equation, that would leave the best interests of Arizonans competing with her own partisan ideology.
Arizonans - be afraid, very afraid.
Having never met Governor Brewer or any of her advisers, I don't know if they are smart enough to figure a way out of this for Brewer that leaves her with a political future. The tap dancing should be fun to watch though.
That dance has already started, awkwardly, with her trial balloon of a special election to raise the state's sales tax.
That one seems to have had a unique effect of uniting both caucuses of the lege - the Reps have pledged to only cut programs, not raise revenue, and many Dems (including the non-legislator writing this post :) ) find that raising the most regressive tax in the state (one whose instability as a revenue source is a major factor in the state's budget crisis) is the absolutely worst approach for addressing the state's budget shortfall.
BTW - am I the only one who finds that the Governor's move to put it out to referendum, without even *trying* to get it through the lege, smacks of craven political cowardice? One of the things that a governor has to do is make tough, even unpopular, decisions.