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View Diary: Sunday Train: Steel Interstates & An America That Can Do Big Things (48 comments)

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  •  That suggests that your answer to ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... the implicit question in the title is that An America That Can Do Big Things lies only in the past. We can only do things that we can sneak around the back way, but can no longer do the things that are (1) urgent priorities and (2) require actual national programs to accomplish.

    I do not understand the fixation on states. If a majority of Louisville comes to support it, that's support, even if they are a city in a "red" state. If a majority of Memphis comes to support it, that's support, even if they are in a city in a "red" state. If a majority of Indianapolis comes to support it, that's support, even if they are a city in a "red" state.

    And it would be a serious mistake to assume that the current political status quo is fixed and immutable over a time scale of decades. Demographic trends suggest that Texas and Georgia are going to flip.

    And it would be a serious mistake to assume that the present political tactic of fighting intercity passenger rail improvements in order to deny Democrats political victories from the Stimulus projects has much political impetus once it is determined whether President Obama has been defeated or re-elected. North Carolina pursued higher speed intercity passenger rail even though they have not quite yet flipped, because it is a service that benefits both large cities and small towns along the corridor. One reason Illinois has been so aggressive in pursuing intercity rail is that crosses the divide between upstate and downstate Illinois.

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    by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 06:19:29 PM PDT

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    •  Maybe it can't do the same great things, ... (0+ / 0-)

      over again on the same routes. Maybe it can, and the possibility of an alternative is enough to get the holdouts on board.

      There aren't that many Americans who hate rail. There aren't even that many who would oppose it when given cost/benefit comparisons to other modes. But there are many who respond to GOP marketing. It doesn't take many Senate seats to gum up the works for everyone. And, on the scale of multinational corporations, it doesn't take much money to secure the votes of those states with either small populations or a preexisting bias toward conservative brand identity.

      Maybe they're against rail based on lobbying and campaign dollars that will dry up only when the oil does. Maybe having to share their schools with black kids soured them on the whole idea of shared infrastructure. Maybe they're really against rail on principle, and they'll never get on board anyway.

      But, maybe some are just holding out for a better deal. Those are the ones who'll snap to when they see it happening with or without them. And maybe that's enough.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 09:35:20 AM PDT

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