Let The Rail Revolution Begin

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama shed some more light on his vision of high speed rail transit for America. Like most of the country, I'm all for this. And yeah, I've got questions on how in the world we will pay for this, but it's still an important step for this country.

But there were a few other thoughts on my mind too. First is how big this could be for Obama's legacy. If he pulls this off where so many have failed, it would easily be a highlight for his administration.

But the other thoughts come from my inner conspiracy nut. High speed rail makes a lot of sense to pretty much everyone. Most people want it and a lot of politicians and groups have tried to get it going.

They've all failed miserably.

Closest we've got is the Acela Express up here in DC and considering its only 10 to 20 minutes faster than the other trains running up here it is pretty much a rip off.

So, my thought is really just why haven't we been able to get this thing going?

Most will say just bad leadership, but part me thinks it has to be more than that. I think there had to be something pushing against high speed rail and that something was Big Oil, the Big Three, and the Airlines (or their lobbyists to be more specific).

And if I'm even partially right, that makes this the best time ever to go after high speed rail. Those factions could not possibly be weaker than they are now. Americans see the need for additional modes of travel more now than ever. Hopefully Obama can get this done.

The last thought is just basically how many battles can Obama fight at once. He's simultaneously taking on all comers at home and abroad and we haven't even started working on health care yet. Sure, if he can only accomplish a few of his broader goals he'll have done a lot for this country. But I hope he doesn't end up being spread too thin.

If that were the case he could end up not getting anything accomplished.

If there is one chink in his armor right now its that I'm not as sold on some of his staff choices as I at least tried to be initially. I still like his broad vision, but a coach can only do so much. He's got to have the players on the court that can execute his gameplan. Let's hope he really has picked the right people for the job.

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