February 28, 2011

GEORGE WILL: TRAIN MANIA. “Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind. . . . To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.”

Plus this: “The average intercity auto trip today uses less energy per passenger mile than the average Amtrak train.”

UPDATE: A Devo reference:

I know I let you tell me what to do/
you were confident you knew best/
now things aren’t working
like you want them to/
your confidence is what i detest

Devo references are usually apt.