Don’t roll out the lifeline til they’re clean out of reach

Steve Benen on Republican governors turning down federal money for infrastructure projects:

Keep in mind, it’s ideology, not practical concerns, that lie at the heart of these governors’ reactionary moves. The states turning down investments for high-speed rail, for example, were effectively handed a gift — jobs, economic development, improved infrastructure — but Republicans like Rick Scott and Scott Walker turned down the benefits because of a philosophical opposition, deliberately hurting their state in the process. The administration was effectively throwing a life-preserver to a Republican who’s drowning, only to be told, “We don’t like government life-preservers.”

(bold mine)

Is it ideology though? You can bet they would take this money if it was coming from a Republican president, so it certainly isn’t some ideology of “fiscal conservatism”.

It probably is a part of something that could be described as an ideology though. Cleek said it best

Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.






84 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Great quote by Cleek.

    Also keep in mind that part of the Republican strategy is to prevent job growth so they use it against Obama in 2012.

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    With Walker, I thought it was mostly true believing ideology, and it still might be part of that. But the crank call responses revealed him to be largely, the largest part, being a common bag man for the plutocrat mob disguised in conservative cloth. It is the one clear thing that came through from that bit of pol entertainment,imo. And I suspect, the more the good folk in WI think about it, some of them that voted for Walker, will come to the same conclusion

  3. 3

    Sure. The ideology is there’s no way in hell I’m going to be beholden to one of THOSE people* and I have a job, so nothing else matters.

    While it sucks for the residents of those states and state legislators who planned to use more jobs to get re-elected, in the short term it means more for those of us who didn’t put scum sucking shitheads in the governor’s mansion. In the longer term it means the scum sucking shitheads will be out of work.

    *Democrats, of course.

  4. 4
    piratedan says:

    you see its for our own good, or so our betters continue to tell us. We’ll only have these infrastructure improvements if our Republicans betters deem it to be in their best interests.

  5. 5
    Uloborus says:

    Yeah! I’m with Cleek and The Thoughtful One. It’s completely about ideology. They’re willing to shoot themselves in the face to spite their opposition. That IS their biggest ideal right now. Turning down money for your state isn’t even a smart political move. These guys were elected to be meanspirited self-centered jerks and that’s what they’re doing.

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Uloborus: Assume, arguendo, that you can either govern, or win elections, but not both.

    Turning down money for your state isn’t necessarily a smart political move, or a dumb one. It depends on why you do it.

    I’d add to cleek’s axiom — Any political party predicated on appealing to the worst in people has a half-a-lap head start. Line up all the other mean-spirited jerks out there on your side, every second November, and you’re damned close to elected.

  7. 7
    bemused says:

    If they can grab all the money and power and piss off liberals at the same time, that’s heaven on earth.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    @bemused:

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the talking ends and the stealing begins.

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    It would be a better world with more republicans like Bob Gates in it, and fewer Scott Walkers.

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”

    Here, Here!

  10. 10
    Breezeblock says:

    My guess: They don’t want to “accept handouts from the ni–er in the White House”.

  11. 11

    We’ll take Wisconsin and Florida’s high-speed rail money out here in California. Heck, we’ll take their monorail money too.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    In GA the republican governor is backtracking on his hunt for undocumented workers campaign. It appears that the agriculture and chicken processor lobbies are pretty powerful.
    The hunt for the children of illegals using our schools will continue though. It’s okay to pluck our chickens but not send your children to our schools.
    In FL there are many businesses leaning on Scott for his shortsightedness. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  13. 13
    CaffinatedOne says:

    If your plan is to create as big of a “crisis” as possible, use that as a cudgel to destroy unions/workers and more generally get “extraordinary” powers to able to sell off state property and outsource operations to your corporate benefactors, doing this makes perfect sense. Making the rejection about “principles” is just a handy excuse that sells (somewhat) well.

  14. 14
    Bill H. says:

    These numbers are not real, so don’t anyone call me out or ask me to prove the numbers. The point I want to make is, when has anyone ever seen the federal government pay the entire cost, or even a major portion of the cost of a major project? They don’t.

    The government gave out $8 billion or so for high speed rail, but it went to a few hundred projects in a couple of dozen states. The average grant was, I believe, $153 million. How much high speed rail does $153 million build? Less than ten miles. How useful is a ten-mile-long high speed rail system?

    When the fed gives money to a state for a project, the state has to come up with “matching funds” for that project. After the project is built, it has to provide funds to operate that project. So taking that “gift” from the governmetn means making a commitment of no small amount of state money, both immediately and in the future; money that the state may not have.

    And yet if the governor of the state says that he cannot take the $200 million “gift” because the state does not have another $200 million to match it to complete the project, nor does it have room in its budget for $20 million per year to operate it for the next 100 years, he is accused of “turning down free money for political reasons.”

  15. 15
    Rob says:

    @Bill H.: Wisconisn was given $800m, so yes that is plenty of money to build rail from Chicago to Minneapolis. But rail has those young bucks ride it so its evil.

  16. 16
    M. Carey says:

    Remember- They WANT the economy to be fairly bad until 2012, so they can blame Obama.

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    @General Stuck:
    Grand Old Plunderers

  18. 18
    sukabi says:

    @Bill H.: yeah, why should the states have to cough up ANY money to build infrastructure within it’s borders, that will benefit its residents, business community and help it compete???

    the “fix” for coming up with the money is simple… raise taxes.

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    Dont look now, but the current Vegas favorite (literally, the one with the best odds on the off-shore sites) for Republican nommy is Sarah Pay’lin. I’m not kidding. Barely ahead of Romney and Hux, but still…..ahead.

    Booyah.

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bill H.:

    By the same token, if the President offers funds for infrastructre improvements that the state (and the country) desperately needs, he’s called a “Halfrican Kenyan Muslim terrorist” and Republicans make “jokes” about shooting him.

    But, yeah, clearly we’re the ones misjudging the situation.

  21. 21
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @Punchy: she’s a teaser card.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Punchy: God doesn’t love us that much. In 2012 she’ll be gone before the snow — if she runs at all.

  24. 24
    bemused says:

    I’ve been trying to decide which is more unamerican, evil soshalism, light rail or bike lanes.

  25. 25
    Uloborus says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Yes, but here is the problem: Even in terms of getting elected, turning down money for your state is a terrible idea. Governors are some of the most local-issue elections around. Being known as the guy who refused an offer to bring jobs into the state is traditionally the best way to ensure you’re a one term governor. Only because he’s a Tea Jerk candidate is there even a portion of his constituency that will be merely okay with this move.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    garsh… i’m ‘umbled.

    almost.

    i like all these, too !

  27. 27
    Bill H. says:

    @Rob:
    $800 million would just about cover Madison to Milwaukee,
    see here, which is a long way short of Chicago to Minneapolis. So, admittedly, my “ten miles” was off, but my point is still valid. The state still has to come up with both construction and ongoing operations cost.

    @sukabi:
    I didn’t say they shouldn’t. That is a decision for the governor to make. If the governor wants to raise taxes he should by all means do so. But when he decides he does not have the money and does not want to raise taxes, he is not “refusing a gift for political reasons.” He is deciding not to raise taxes.

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Uloborus: 100% of 35% of the potential electorate wins low turnout elections. The spite vote is at least that big. Negative campaigning, voter ID laws, etc, do the rest.

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    @Doug Hill: Go to here ; follow this: sportsbook–> other–> Republican Nominee

    BO is -125 to be re-elected, Palin next closest at +1000. Translation: BO will almost certainly win re-election.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill H.:

    These numbers are not real, so don’t anyone call me out or ask me to prove the numbers. The point I want to make is, when has anyone ever seen the federal government pay the entire cost, or even a major portion of the cost of a major project? They don’t.

    Conservatism in action: I can’t actually prove any of the claims I’m making, but I feel like they’re probably true, so you have to treat my unsupported theories as fact!

    This, ladies and gents, is why the Republicans keep winning — as long as they are able to appeal to the lizard brain where people feel like high-speed rail is a waste of money, no amount of facts are going to convince them because the facts go against what their emotions tell them, and they’ll go with their emotions every time.

  31. 31
    Bill H. says:

    @Chyron HR:
    Is that even an argument?

  32. 32
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    @Punchy: Well, the invisible hand has spoken.

  33. 33

    @Bill H.:

    These numbers are not real, so don’t anyone call me out or ask me to prove the numbers.

    You can tell Doug is REALLY bored when he starts trolling his own posts.

  34. 34
    Bill H. says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Oh, for God’s sake, you know the points I make are valid. The point is I didn’t want some idiot like you coming back and saying it was not $8 billion, it was $8.1 billion, and it wasn’t 153 projects, it was 156 projects, and it didn’t go to a dozen states, it went to 14 states, so your facts are all wrong and everything you say is total bullshit.

    Does the federal government pay the entire cost of these projects?

    Does the state not have to come up with funding?

    Does the state have plenty of money without having to raise taxes?

    Doe the project not coast any money to operate after it is completed?

    Will the state not have to pay that operating cost after the project is completed?

    Come on man, invalidate the points I have made from your lofty perch of there of superiority.

  35. 35
    Doug Hill says:

    @Punchy:

    What does Sullivan think about this?

  36. 36

    Is it ideology though? You can bet they would take this money if it was coming from a Republican president, so it certainly isn’t some ideology of “fiscal conservatism”.

    Nod. That’s the critical thing – it’s only ideology if it’s based upon differences in ideology, not differences in labeling. To call it an ideological difference is to assume good faith on the part of the actor. I can’t see how that can be assumed these days.

  37. 37
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Bill H.:
    So tell me who pays the cost for sitting in a clogged transportation corridor in rush hour traffic? We do. Every last one of us who has to get up too early and get home too late because our commute is spent largely listening to the car idling away. Taxes? Shit. What’s the economic burden of having to fill that tank every few days? What’s the worth of all of the hours wasted sitting in traffic?

  38. 38
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.

    Cleek is right, but it’s not really what liberals want, it’s what the Blimpbaugh strawman parody of liberals want.

  39. 39
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    HAve you ever noticed you never see Sarah Palin and Lou Sarah is the same place?!

    http://wonkette.com/438825/is-.....k-fan-page

  40. 40
    Nellcote says:

    @Bill H.:

    In Florida there were private/public partnerships set up so that the state had to invest very little of its own money.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill H.:

    The point is I didn’t want some idiot like you coming back and saying it was not $8 billion, it was $8.1 billion, and it wasn’t 153 projects, it was 156 projects, and it didn’t go to a dozen states, it went to 14 states, so your facts are all wrong and everything you say is total bullshit.

    So you still have no facts to back up your unsupported emotions?

    Here’s a little snapshot for you: they just built a light rail system in Phoenix, AZ in 2009. Gloom and doom was predicted by the usual suspects like the Cato Institute: no one’s going to use the train, it’s a huge boondoggle, blah blah blah.

    Not only did ridership initially exceed expectations, it continues to grow year over year.

    Of course, I’m assuming you still consider it to be an overexpensive boondoggle despite the fact that the people of the metro area love it and are using it in ever-increasing numbers because shut up, that’s why.

  42. 42
    Brad says:

    I think Cleek is more or less correct on economic policy, where there is really no coherence (balance the budget and cut taxes!) and the Republicans basically just look stupid. On the other hand, the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood–and women of childbearing age more generally–have been well coordinated, highly ideological, and vicious.

  43. 43
    Petorado says:

    There is personally no win in accepting these federal dollars for Walker.

    Sugar daddy moneybags is in the petroleum industry and he’s going to take federal money for high speed rail mass transit? Will Walker waste a perfectly good ginned-up crisis by opening a federal relief valve? Won’t the folks working on this rail system be union employees? Have a ribbon-cutting in Wisconsin with Obama at the scissors?

    When it comes down to fighting for his political life or the real-time lives of his constituents this is a no-brainer for a guy like Walker.

  44. 44
    trollhattan says:

    How to get GWB to refuse to attend your Future Uberclass convention: invite somebody he no likie.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....enver.html

    That’ll show those whippersnappers to stay off his lawn.

  45. 45
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Uloborus: That’s if you plan on being governor again. If you are planning on running for president (like Pawlenty) or if you plan on going to the private sector, then hurting the local economy isn’t harmful to your future goals.

  46. 46
    Aidan says:

    It’s not ideology, it’s partisanship.

  47. 47
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Doug Hill: If Palin runs and supports gutting ‘entitlements’ in ways that make Simpson/Bowles seem quaint, Sully will be her biggest fan. Bank on it.

  48. 48
    sukabi says:

    @Bill H.: and the reason he decides to not raise taxes is PURELY POLITICAL… he wants to be reelected.

    If your state / budget is having a shortfall you obviously need to do 2 things… adjust your budget to cut out the waste and RAISE REVENUE, ie taxes, to close the gap.

    That these shitheels aren’t willing to increase cashflow into their coffers is purely political.

  49. 49
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Aidan: It’s tribalism and hatred.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:
    yup.

    GOP: we’re the opposite of what we tell you the Democrats are!

  51. 51
    Pangloss says:

    @Bill H.: Milwaukee is currently the second busiest Amtrak station between California and Central Pennsylvania, and they only have seven trains to and from Chicago and the Empire Builder long distance train each day. They just spent millions to upgrade their station in anticipation of greater rail travel.

    The Milwaukee and Milwaukee airport stations serve over 700,000 passengers per year right now, which is about 1/12th the total of Milwaukee’s airport and half the total of the Madison’s Dane County Regional Airport. If Amtrak ridership is compared to an airport, it would be the third largest in the state of Wisconsin right now (Green Bay’s Airport, for example, only serves 250,000 passengers a year), and for all intents and purposes the trains only currently go to and from Chicago.

    Connecting Madison and Milwaukee to the lines to Chicago (and eventually to Minneapolis) would increase Amtrak ridership in Wisconsin by leaps and bounds. It would also offer an alternative mode of transportation between the state’s capital and largest city as a free job-creating gift to the state of Wisconsin from the federal government.

    In addition, because of the hostility to the very CONCEPT of high speed rail on the part of the new governor, the Talgo rail car manufacturing plant has announced that it is moving out of Wisconsin, taking another several hundred manufacturing jobs.

  52. 52
    The Ithacan says:

    I think the problem here is that, it is easy to identify “shock doctrine” pillage as it is being carried out in the Third World because we are far enough removed to separate the forest and the trees. In contrast, it is difficult to see the same pillaging being carried out by the same institutions when it is taking place in the good old USA. (We’re Number One, I denounce Stalin).

    We get caught in the left versus right narrative loop even though the real story is one of a plutocratic smash and grab.

  53. 53
    Bill H. says:

    @Nellcote:
    That’s a great solution, and I wish more states would do it. A similar thing is being tried in California, but the economics of it are just not there.

    @Mnemosyne:
    Some states do have the money, and in some states the projects are econimically feasible. That does not mean they are in all of them. You still have not invalidated any single one of my principles upon which a governor might turn down a “free gift.”

    This group seems dedicated to the rather idiotic supposition that no Republican has ever done anything right and no Democrat has never done anything wrong, that all Republicans are absolute idiots and all Democrats are sheer geniuses, and that all Republican acts are acts of evil and all Democratic acts are acts of purity and good.

    The world is just not that polarized.

  54. 54
    Pamela F says:

    @Bill H.:

    Here in FL., where our new criminal governor declined the high speed rail project, a consortium of businesses had pledged to make up the shortfall. What he wants to do instead is add more lanes to the I-4 corridor and I 95 deathtraps. No vision, no long-term thinking…Guess that’s why Gov. Scott, according to the latest Quinnipac poll has a whopping 28 % approval rating.

  55. 55
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Conservatism in action: I can’t actually prove any of the claims I’m making, but I feel like they’re probably true, so you have to treat my unsupported theories as fact!

    Isn’t this what Stephen Colbert called “Truthiness”?

  56. 56
    The Ithacan says:

    Poor people ride trains.

    Also teh browns and teh blacks.

    That it all.

  57. 57
    Pamela F says:

    @Bill H.:

    Here in FL., where our new criminal governor declined the high speed rail project, a consortium of businesses had pledged to make up the shortfall. So there goes your raising taxes canard. What he wants to do instead is add more lanes to the I-4 corridor and I 95 deathtraps. No vision, no long-term thinking…Guess that’s why Gov. Scott, according to the latest Quinnipac poll has a whopping 28 % approval rating.

  58. 58
    Nellcote says:

    @Bill H.:

    That’s a great solution, and I wish more states would do it.

    Florida had it and turned down the fed. money anyway.

  59. 59
    Bill H. says:

    @sukabi:
    A. Maybe the reason he doesn’t want to raise taxes is because the people he represents don’t want him to raise taxes.

    B: Guess what, Democrats don’t raise taxes for exactly all the same reasons the Republicans don’t raise taxes.

    Again and still: Democrats are good, pure, wonderful while Republicans are Bad, corrupt, and awful. Despite the fact that the differences in what they do is pretty marginal.

  60. 60

    Applause for the Elvis Costello reference.

  61. 61
    Steve says:

    B: Guess what, Democrats don’t raise taxes for exactly all the same reasons the Republicans don’t raise taxes.

    No, Democrats don’t raise taxes because Republicans have spent 30 years poisoning the well against any and all potential tax increases, no matter how small or necessary.

  62. 62
    The Ithacan says:

    I went to a state park with my 11 year old son this summer. The place was empty. It was like a neutron bomb gone off. Rich people have their own damn parks. Poor people can’t afford them. State parks were built and maintained to serve the middle class. Now the middle class is dying and soon their parks will be gone as well. Sold off for condos I would guess.

    Anyway, our country is being looted and I have no idea how to stop the looters.
    Trains.
    Also.

  63. 63

    Republicans: Because we can’t seem to find enough necks to punch.

  64. 64
    Joel says:

    @Nellcote: Q.E.D. I don’t see how anyone can evaluate these situations honestly and not see starkly partisan motives for governors rejecting federal funds.

  65. 65
    gbear says:

    @Bill H.:

    Actually, the state of Florida wasn’t going to have to contribute much at all:

    As to his first two concerns, bid documents being prepared by state transportation officials would have required companies bidding on the project to cover the state’s obligation, as well as any construction cost overruns and operating losses due to low ridership. Companies had indicated they were willing to accept those terms.

    Scott is basically turning down free money that would have created jobs and infrastructure.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    The Ithacan says:

    Facts.

    How do they work?

  68. 68
    Steve says:

    B: Guess what, Democrats don’t raise taxes for exactly all the same reasons the Republicans don’t raise taxes.

    Just to expand on my previous thoughts: even when Democrats have need and a mandate to raise taxes, however modestly, Republicans pull out all the stops to prevent them from doing it.

    We saw it in December. The Republican Party held the nation hostage in the Senate in order to secure a 4% marginal tax cut for their rich benefactors. They did this despite strong public support for this tax increase on the rich, and they refused to let ANYTHING else happen without this concession.

    Health care for 9/11 first responders? Middle class tax relief? DADT repeal? Treaty to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons against our country? F YOU! GIVE US OUR UPPER CLASS TAX CUT, OR GO F YOURSELVES!

    That’s the modern republican party, for whom there is no problem which doesn’t call for a tax cut. Economy good? Cut taxes. Economy in the tank? Cut taxes. Going to War? Cut taxes. Deficit too big? Better cut taxes. Locusts eating the turnip crop? Tax cut will cause those bugs to flee!

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Barb (formerly Gex):
    @cleek:

    In a world where politics is considered first and foremost a team sport, that’s usually enough.

  70. 70
    The Ithacan says:

    @Steve

    That’s the modern republican party, for whom there is no problem which doesn’t call for a tax cut. Economy good? Cut taxes. Economy in the tank? Cut taxes. Going to War? Cut taxes. Deficit too big? Better cut taxes. Locusts eating the turnip crop? Tax cut will cause those bugs to flee!

    This is a good definition of an extortion ring.

  71. 71
    ppcli says:

    @Bill H.:

    This group seems dedicated to the rather idiotic supposition that … no Democrat has never done anything wrong, that … Democrats are sheer geniuses, … and all Democratic acts are acts of purity and good.

    Howdy stranger. You’re not around these parts much, are ya?

  72. 72
    The Ithacan says:

    Not only not from around here but also, it seems, have a classic case of projection.

    … no DemocratRepublican has never done anything wrong, that … Democrats Republicans are sheer geniuses, … and all DemocraticRepublican acts are acts of purity and good.

    FIxed

  73. 73

    Keep in mind, it’s ideology, not practical concerns, that lie at the heart of these governors’ reactionary moves.

    Um, bullshit. No it’s not. It’s Obvious If you Look at who financed these governors’s campaigns.

    Koch Industries is first and foremost an oil company. ExxonMobil is active in groups like Americans for Prosperity, etc. Oil companies have NO interest in seeing people ditch their cars for public transportation.

    It’s always about the tyranny of oil.

    IMHO.

  74. 74
    sukabi says:

    @Bill H.: pull your blinders off and your head out.

    to your “rebuttal” regardless of IF people want to pay taxes, there are basic services, amenities and things that ALL PEOPLE and BUSINESSES rely on for the state to take care of… things like roads, policemen & their equipment, fire departments & people & equipment, hospitals & the staff & equipment, libraries, clean water and the infrastructure to deliver it, sewage removal and the facilities to treat it and on and on… taxes are what pay for these things.

    EVERYONE benefits when there is infrastructure in place to facilitate their daily lives / business. Taking care of and updating / improving the existing infrastructure and planning for and implementing new infrastructure for the growing population is a necessity that EVERYONE should pay for, whether they like it or not.

    That the politicians of either stripe don’t want to educate the population on the necessity of this, and don’t want to challenge the business community and the rich to pay their fair share goes to show how beholden the politicians are to big money interests, and yes “both parties do it”. Doesn’t excuse either, also doesn’t make it OK.

    Just for fun, which states are willing to raise taxes to help with their budget shortfalls and what party do their governors belong to?

  75. 75
    Cacti says:

    In Walker’s case, it was also a quid pro quo for the Highway Construction lobby, who donated $128,000 to his campaign.

  76. 76
    Svensker says:

    @Pangloss:

    In addition, because of the hostility to the very CONCEPT of high speed rail on the part of the new governor, the Talgo rail car manufacturing plant has announced that it is moving out of Wisconsin, taking another several hundred manufacturing jobs.

    That’s it right there. The wingnuts HATE passenger trains, highspeed or not. I don’t know why, but they do. Got into an argument with a winger cousin the other day about it and pointed out that they have NO problem subsidizing auto travel. He said there were no highway subsidies, it was all paid through gas taxes. Yeah, right.

    They don’t like trains because algore is fat, basically.

  77. 77
    Halteclere says:

    @Bill H: Your point in a basic sense about why governors may reject federal funds is valid, though most people here seemed to skip over it. But if honest governors were truly turning down the funds due to financial issues you would think they would provide better details why – no budget availability at this time, ridership not expected to provide enough revenue, would not replace enough commuting vehicles to reduce infrastructure costs elsewhere, would not promote any additional business over current travel arrangements, etc).

    But instead we do not hear any of those reasons, so these decisions are being made with the ideology that the Government is always the devil and Private Business are always angels.

    I want to hear a Conservative state why highways and the airline industry should always get Federal and State support, but never anything on rails (my belief: millionaire politicians and the money that supports them always use the first two, but would never use the second).

  78. 78
    Halteclere says:

    Damn typing-on-cellphone errors…

  79. 79
    agrippa says:

    Doug Hill, I agree.
    It does seem to be a zero sum game: if the Democrats are for it, we are against it. That position is a dead end.

    It does remain to be seen if the GOP will suffer at the polls because of that attitude. I think that they will, but who knows?

  80. 80

    @Svensker:

    The wingnuts HATE passenger trains, highspeed or not.

    But … but … but … Dagny Taggart is president of a giant railroad company!!!!

  81. 81
    Judas Escargot says:

    Ideology is a self-administered poison.

  82. 82
    bob h says:

    I have always felt that modern American conservatism is based less on ideology than personal resentment of us, the liberals.
    We are smarter, better educated, more wordly and sophisticated, and they resent us for it.

  83. 83
    priscianus jr says:

    @Svensker:

    The wingnuts HATE passenger trains, highspeed or not. I don’t know why, but they do.

    That seems to be largely true, And yet, the late Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the Heritage Foundation and icon of the new right, was a passionate advocate for mass transit … Hey, nobody’s perfect.
    http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_000004.htm

  84. 84
    WyldPirate says:

    11

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