It appears that for all the bleating regarding red states refusing stimulus money, it’s come down to three guys. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Bobby Jindal (R-LA) are all denying small portions of the stimulus money.

This is in contrast to the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the previous week. While they talked a good game, it appears they will accept 99% of the cash, specifically denying the money designed to help fund unemployment assistance for jobless residents in those states.

Perhaps they’re trying to gain some support for their future political runs- especially Jindal, who is often mentioned as a candidate for Prez in 2012.

It’s hard to imagine that this will help them politically. Sure, the far right-wing will eat this up, but if the goal is to increase people self-identifying with the GOP, does this make inroads with new potential devotees to the cause?

Monday, February 23 UPDATE: The AJC’s Jay Bookman says the same thing (but much more clearly) in today’s paper.

Their problem, of course, is that the appeal of their approach is to the Southern base and ONLY to that base. While 68 percent of Americans approve of what Obama is doing on the economy, 59 percent disagree with congressional Republicans.

Only 33 percent — the GOP base — support the Republican approach. GOP leaders keep playing to that core group, stirring cheers and enthusiasm from their buddies as they do, but meanwhile the rest of the country ignores them and moves on.

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