Why Are GOP Leaders Taking Stimulus Cues from Michelle Malkin?

Malkin leads conservative pundits influencing congressional Republicans.

In early January, when President Obama first proposed his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin balked at the proposal’s name, writing that it should be called “The Generational Theft Act of 2009.” Malkin has been pushing her attempted re-branding ever since, repeating it over and over and over again.

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Malkin’s views are apparently beginning to hold sway with Republicans in Congress. On January 29, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said of the proposed stimulus package, “This bill is a generational theft bill.” In a blog post yesterday for, a new conservative 501(c)4 group, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) used Malkin’s language as well:

The hundreds of billions of dollars Washington is borrowing to finance this pork-barrel monstrosity will come from our children and grandchildren. This is not “stimulus” – it’s generational theft.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has become a top critic of the recovery package in the Senate, also referred to it as “generational theft” on CBS’ Face The Nation yesterday.

Malkin isn’t the only far right conservative pundit influencing the GOP these days. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, congressional Republicans are embracing right-wing talker Rush Limbaugh as their “unofficial leader.” Some Republicans, like Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), are following Limbaugh’s lead by referring to the stimulus as the “porkulus” bill.

Matt Corley is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and at the Center for American Progress.