Saturday, February 14, 2009


I see that Bill Kristol is getting huffy about the fact that there's money for maglev trains in the stimulus bill, as is righty blogger Donald Douglas. Kristol assumes this is pork, the most likely maglev project being per Kristol and The Washington Post) a maglev line between Disneyland and Las Vegas, in Harry Reid's home state of Nevada. Matt Yglesias has argued that maglev money could go to projects in a number of other states.) Donald Douglas's prose is a fairly dense thicket, but he seems not to like the maglev project because it's evidence that "the left wants a general transformation of society to a European social-welfare state (if not a Brezhnevite-Soviet command model), and the increasing nationalization of industry" -- as opposed, I guess to all those privately built interstate highways in the 1950s, back when we wouldn't dream of using tax money for transportation infrastructure. (No, actually Douglas does think public spending on highways is OK, 'cuz he grew up in Cali and thinks cars are bitchin'.)

I'm getting a bit sidetracked from the point I want to make, which is this: Now that the wingnuts who read this stuff have to live with the fact that the stimulus bill has already passed, what are they going to do? I think tiny bands of Freepers are going to go out and hold pathetic, futile protests of public works programs. I think they're going to show up with picket signs at building sites; I think they'll go to hearings on proposed projects and demand that governments send the money back in protest of B. Hussein's attempt to turn this country commie. A brief lie-down in front of a bulldozer or two might even take place.

I'm not saying this is anything to worry about. I'm just saying I think it'll happen. At worst, it'll be a nuisance; at best, entertaining. And what will the picket signs say? Despite the dubious provenance of the slogan, I think they'll say: THANKS, BUT NO THANKS.

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