The GOP Scheme To Take Credit For The Recovery

January 25, 2011 4:53 pm ET — Alan Pyke

We have written before in this space about Republican attempts to take credit for the economic recovery they have long claimed was not occurring. While the efforts by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and David Dreier (R-CA) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have earned substantial (and deserved) derision, Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler points out that Republicans don't care that you don't believe them:

What Democrats have not done, and are not doing, is claiming that the looming recovery is the result of two-years worth of their economic policies: stimulus spending, tax credits, unemployment, and the compromise. They've basically closed the door on that interpretation of events, and have instead allowed the GOP to reverse the obvious narrative of the last half-decade: that Republican policies led to inequality, then crisis, then recession and that Democratic policies (barely) righted our course after the 2008 election.

For now that means Republicans will catch a bunch of flack, and critics will mock them, because, you know, everyone gets what's up. But they'll plant these seeds nonetheless, and then three, six, nine months later, if the recovery is real, it will have a big impact on the public's understanding of events.

On the House floor today, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) gave a textbook demonstration of how the Republicans will sew those dishonest seeds: by repeating the simple, false idea that Democrats' efforts in 2009-10 actually impeded the recovery. Beutler's point bears repeating: the economic crisis was largely a product of Republican policies, and much-derided Democratic policies like the Recovery Act, Cash for Clunkers and the HIRE Act have helped to right the ship.

Watch Pence's speech, and read our full fact check HERE.