Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rugged Individualist Parasites

Found this in the Times, wondering about the Tea Party not overwhelming in Colorado:

We want big federal projects to support our small-government state. What is inconsistent about that?

Only enormous federal assistance -- first in the form of the military clearing out native people, then in great national subsidies for railroads and finally giant water projects -- made it possible for people to live in Colorado. Small government and small deficits a la the Tea Party would have made it impossible to immigrate to Colorado, to stake out homesteads or urban lots, or to survive here at all.

This was true in the 1859 gold rush supported by big military interventions; during the agricultural booms of the 1910s, which were made possible by huge dams and irrigation projects; and in the 1970s gas and oil rush that took place on federal land with federal dollars. And it is true now as we build the highways, airports and reservoirs that allow us to live in an isolated and dry place. We know that a generous federal government and the skill of our politicians at earmarking bills are tickets to our lives here.

Coloradans might be labeled as selfish since what we really want is federal largess spent exclusively on us. Indeed, our long history of utter dependence on a giant federal pie overwhelms any Tea Party message.

Where the Republicans/Tea Partiers/Limbaughgers gain power, the actual civic/social results won't be pretty. And there's all too little of such bracingly realistic commentary out there.

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