Now That We Have Air Conditioning, It's Time to Relocate the Capitol
From the August 10 edition of Jonah Goldberg's The Goldberg File:
Washington, D.C., ... we all know, is a pestilential swamp where the horseflies and water snakes have been replaced with congressmen and senators. And that's not a fair trade, because horseflies and water snakes leave your wallet alone when they bite.
That's where the Seat of Government (SOG -- one of the few acronyms which makes sense as a stand-alone word) has long been located. There are lots of possible reasons why the SOG came to be in Washington, D.C., including the proximity to George Washington's Mount Vernon. However, in recent heretofore secret discussions with Messrs Washington and Jefferson, I have discovered the real answer.
The SOG was put in Washington, D.C., to keep the federal government as small and non-intrusive as possible, and to have only those truly dedicated to public service spend time there, as it was a horrible personal sacrifice.
While a scientific genius in many respects, Mr. Jefferson simply did not anticipate that the evil of modern air conditioning would settle upon the Earth and proliferate like cockroaches. Back in the Pre-Air Conditioning (PAC) days, the SOG was a place to go only when absolutely necessary for only as long as absolutely necessary and otherwise to avoid as one might avoid parts of Haiti. The SOG remains eminently avoidable, but not sufficiently so -- hence, the exponential proliferation of government.
There are few ways out of this dilemma, since the political will to make D.C. the totally unpleasant place it was PAC does not exist. Outlaw air conditioning? No way. Move the SOG elsewhere? No matter how currently undesirable a place might be found it would -- with one possible exception -- eventually change sites again. How about D.C. term limits? People have been kicking that notion around for a long time, but nothing has happened beyond some sore feet; people with terms (other than jail terms) will never want them limited.
Annexation of Haiti and moving the SOG there is the only viable answer.
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