MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was all bubbling over on Wednesday about how after months of just being "the party of no," the Republicans now have "an honest to goodness plan -- a policy idea from the top Republican in the Senate."

It seems that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has come up with a distinctively Republican idea on how to fund the troop increase in Afghanistan.

"We know the stimulus failed," McConnell began confidently in a Tuesday afternoon press conference, pointing out that unemployment has continued to rise. "We're looking for a way to fund several years of the war. I would suggest unexpended stimulus funds would be a good place to start."

"It's not clear who writes the senator's stuff," Maddow commented, "but it couldn't be the folks at the Congressional Budget Office." Just one day earlier, the CBO had issued a report estimating that the stimulus has saved between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs and increased the gross domestic product by 1.2 to 3.2 percentage points.

"Mitch McConnell would like to cashier that, please, as a giant failure," Maddow concluded, applauding ironically.

As noted by Firedoglake, as early as last July, McConnell was prepared to declare that "by any measurable index, the stimulus package has been a failure." But it seems that the Republicans in Congress -- being the thrifty folks that they are -- are always willing to recycle a slightly used talking point.

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 2, 2009.

Download video via