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Flyover Country

From the “reality-based community” that refers to the vast expanse of land in between a tiny sliver of the east coast and an equally tiny sliver of land on the west coast of the US “flyover country”:

The Tea Party soared to power on the notion that it was the antidote to wasteful government spending. It’s now clear that reigniting the culture wars was a top priority, too. From guns to abortion, the extremist wing of the Republican Party has fought to turn back the clock on many socially progressive ideals.

Mass transit is its newest target.

“Federal transportation and infrastructure policy has traditionally been an area of strong bipartisan agreement,” says Aaron Naparstek, a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and founder of Streetsblog.org. “Now, it seems, Republicans want to turn cities into a part of the culture wars. Now it’s abortion, gay marriage and subways.”

House Republicans seek to eliminate the Mass Transit Account from the federal Highway Trust Fund. The Mass Transit Account is where public transportation programs get their steady source of funding. Without it, transit would be devastated, and urban life as we know it could become untenable.

[. . .]

Defunding transit is how you smack down urbanites, environmentalists, and people of color, all in one fell swoop. It’s how you telegraph a disdain for all things European. It’s how you show solidarity with swing-state suburbanites who don’t understand why their taxes are going toward subways they don’t even use. And it’s how you subtly reassure your base that you’re not concerned about the very poor.

Republicans haven’t pretended to care about cities for decades. In January, none of the candidates showed up to the annual Conference of Mayors. (Two of them didn’t even RSVP.) And even just a month ago, you could argue, as this website did, that “today cities are more ignored than attacked” by Republicans. But the calculus just changed. The transportation bill sends an aggressive message: “Tea Party to Cities: Drop Dead.”

So rural America is nothing more than those funky squares of land you see out of your plane’s window on your way between “civilized” places, you see nothing of value in rural ways of life or our local cultures, blame country-folk for all of your problems, specifically gun crime even though we have fuck-all to do with that, and we’re the ones engaged in some kind of culture war because we don’t want to pay the nearly 80% subsidy that mass transit requires?

Cry me a fucking river.

2012-02-13  ::  madlibertarianguy

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