There’s an old Appalachian saying that goes, “You gotta’ dance with them what brung you.” Add this to the list of things that President Obama doesn’t seem to get.
Who elected him in 2008? Of this there can be little doubt—the Northeast, the Far West, and the Mountain States. So explain to me why the eight-billion-dollar high-speed rail stimulus plan pretty much leaves out the Northeast, one of the few areas in the country where people still actually ride trains.
A glance at the above map from the Federal Railroad Administration shows the snub in dramatic fashion. The Boston-to-New York corridor, the nation’s busiest, is not slated for an upgrade. There are but two lines for California, one in the Northwest, and the middle of the nation is as blank a prairie in a blizzard. We will, however, see stimulus money spent to run high-speed rail through red states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina. You know--the places where anti-government sentiment runs deep and where politicians will howl about wasting taxpayer dollars. Places where Obama has as much chance of winning votes as a polecat running for Miss Congeniality.
This is a real head scratcher. Show me the compelling need for an Oklahoma City to Houston network. And why on earth would Obama waste political capital in the Deep South instead of shoring of his support timbers in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania? How about an Albany to Harrisburg line? Columbus to Washington? Denver to Chicago? Every day seems to bring more news that Obama is, as his pre-election critics charged, too green and inexperienced to be a strong leader. He naively plays nonpartisan games that have the net effect of appeasing those who will hate him no matter what he does whilst abandoning those who want desperately to love him. Arthur Miller said it best, “Without alienation, there can be no politics.” Elected officials such as Michael Bennet, (CO), Robert Casey (PA), John Kerry (MA), and Charles Schumer (NY) need to remind the president of this. Obama either starts dancing with those what brung him, or he’ll be dateless in 2012.