And… whiff. On the whole, Obama’s rhetoric is good as always. He’s invariably eloquent, but this entire frame of “winning” and “losing” misses the point. It’s not a matter of beating a 22-year-old Beijing University with the hammer of a 22-year-old Columbia University student. When he talks about bringing electricity to rural areas and creating jobs that didn’t exist before… those were active government programs. Anything like the TVA that would be proposed today would give the entire right a collective heart attack… not that it didn’t then, but at least FDR had the cojones to point out that the collective good benefits by the arbiter of the collective good — yeah, the G-word.

The broader point though, is that you can’t talk up high-speed rail in terms of “competitiveness” when you have governors in major states responding to extremists to veto such projects. You can’t credibly discuss lowering corporate tax rates when you’ve kept the top rate solid and whine about the deficit. It’s just not credible.

Then again, that would require rationality in these here United States, and we know that’s not happening any time soon.

~ by Benji on January 25, 2011.

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