Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Something Bad Happen? Blame It On Republicans

by Andrew Gillen

This post by Kevin Carey details how his metro train caught fire the other day. Obviously, this is the fault of… Republicans. No, seriously, he actually says that:
between the 1970s and today a whole political movement rose to power dedicated to the proposition that revenue sources—that is, taxes—are evil, in approximately the same way and to the same degree that Charles Manson is evil, i.e. satanic, depraved, to be opposed with all the righteousness and fervor one can muster.

Those actions had consequences.
This reflexive blaming of Republicans for everything bad that happens means that either Carey has been reading too much Krugman or that the smoke must have gone to his head.

Metro serves DC, MD, and VA. Republicans have never been in charge of DC, are “historically the underdog party in state politics” in Maryland, and while they’ve done well in Virginia lately, this is a relatively new development (post 2000).

Thus at the local level, Republicans can hardly be blamed. Nor does the accusation make much sense at the national level. A quick glance at this picture reveals that Republicans and Democrats have more or less split power evenly since the 1970s, the period in question.

I’m certainly not pro metro fires and crashes, so it seems clear that there has been a government failure to provide the appropriate maintenance/updating. This sort of situation is analogous to the situation on college campuses that neglect facility maintenance in order to reallocate money to other uses, and then make a public plea for more money when things begin to break down.

But trying to blame that on Republicans, who have never held much power locally, and only sporadically nationally, is just plain absurd.

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