Dan Gainor

Little boys love to play with trains. It doesn’t stop, even when they grow up and move to Washington. Now the Democrats and Barack Obama are playing with trains and $8 billion of our money to build themselves a nationwide train set just like the Europeans.

It’s not really intended to build anything. Oh, sure, they’ll mouth the words about how wonderful rapid rail could be. As Vice President Joe Biden claimed recently, “it’s a down payment on a truly national program that's going to reshape the way we travel.”

It’s nothing of the sort. It’s a down payment on the 2012 election, Chicago style. Eight billion dollars doesn’t sound like much given the all-time biggest budget of $3.8 trillion. But that’s not the point. By committing to a bogus national rail system, Obama is promising billions of dollars of pork targeted at urban areas around the U.S. – nearly all of which voted Democrat in 2008.

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Notice the bastions of conservativism this high-speed rail plan targets: San Francisco, Portland, OR, Austin, TX, Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and more.

This isn’t a plan to turn the nation eco-green, it’s a plan to keep the nation lefty blue. And the media have hopped on board like it’s actually a legitimate idea. CNN correspondent Don Lemon called one animation of what high-speed rail could look like “pretty cool” and “like the ‘Jetsons.’” It’s not like the Jetsons, it’s rapid rail like the Daleys.

You remember the Daleys, the Democratic political family whose machine has ruled Obamaland, er, Chicago for decades? This is the kind of pork only they could love. Because it’s designed to get votes – even liberals admit it.

The lefty Daily Kos blog had a detailed analysis of the Florida route and admitted politics was a deciding factor. “The I-4 corridor region could be sufficient to swing the outcome of Florida and its 27 electoral votes.” The blogger went on to explain why that would be so important. “So in a swing region experiencing population growth and crushing unemployment, you deliver a $3.5 billion high speed rail line.” That’s pretty important if you consider Florida has been key to recent presidential elections.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.