Obama’s vision, fast train edition

When I hear President Obama tout the big government health care program that his administration is formulating on grounds of economy, as he did again at Georgetown in his New Foundation speech last Tuesday, I wonder how stupid he thinks American citizens are. With substantial Democratic majorities supporting him in the Senate and the House, he knows Congress won’t be flyspecking his claims.

I had the same thought this past Thursday when Obama gave his speech promoting a high-speed rail network . While he didn’t peddle this megabillion dollar fantasy boondoggle as a measure indispensable to reduction of the federal budget, he did promote it on equally fantastic grounds. He offered it to alleviate traffic congestion. How stupid does he think we are? Reason’s NIck Gillespie commented:

Question to the folks, including some of the libertarian persuasion (you fools!), who were bullish on Obama back when the alternative was John McCain, the Terri Schiavo of presidential candidates: When are you going to admit that Barry O stinks on ice? That for all his high-flying and studiously empty rhetoric he’s got the biggest presidential vision deficit since George H.W. Bush puked on a Japanese prime minister (finally, revenge for that long run of Little League World Series losses in the ’70s!). If you’re the president of the United States and you’re talking about goddamn traffic jams and you’re proposing high-speed rail as anything other than an unapologetic boondoggle that will a) never get built and b) never get built to the gee-whiz specs it’s supposed and c) be ridden by fewer people than commuted by zeppelin last year, you’ve got real problems, bub. And by extension, so do we all.

I appreciate Gillespie’s sarcasm and take his point. I believe the sarcasm is therapeutic and the point is correct. Unlike Gillespie, however, I credit Obama with a vision. He’s got one, and like the national high-speed rail system of his dreams, it’s on a fast track.


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