Friday, February 18, 2005

Other people's new governor

Reading the online edition of the Indianapolis Star sure makes me glad I got out of Dodge and into a safely blue state in the nick of time. That's because of the shenanigans of Indiana's first Republican governor in decades, the newly-elected Mitch Daniels. I'd be apoplectic before finishing my morning coffee just reading the day's headlines.

"My man, Mitch," they like to call him. It's the moniker George Bush fondly bestowed on his former budget director, the guy who oversaw our federal government's plunge into reckless deficit spending amid a flurry of tax cuts for the upper crust. My blue friends in Indiana call him, "my bitch, Mitch." Here's some reasons why:

Leaving some children behind

As anyone who knows the wily ways of Republicans could have guessed, Mitch is slashing education funding, holding back money from the already strapped schools. Urban schools in places like Indianapolis were just beginning to catch their breath and make some strides forward. The state had reluctantly supported them. Now they're back to swimming upstream to that Republican mantra, "do more with less."

My man, Mitch. Man of the people

In one of his more telling moves--or rather, non-moves--Mitch has taken a misstep. Not wanting to move into the classic old Governor's Mansion on North Meridian Street in the swankest old neighborhood of Indianapolis, Mitch and his wife announced they'd be building themselves some new digs in the nouveau suburb of Carmel. Mitch prefers to live in the next county north of the hoi-polloi, in a gated estate surrounded by his wealthy (Republican) neighbors and their gated estates. If the riff-raf are out of sight, they're probably out of mind.

Before coming to Philadelphia, our family lived a couple of blocks from the Governor's Mansion in Indianapolis (although hardly in such a grandiose house). We have fond memories of seeing Susan Bayh jogging along the canal or coming to read stories at our son's school when her husband Evan was governor. The house was always a popular stop on Halloween for neighborhood trick-or-treaters and Governor O'Bannon (often personally) dropped toothbrushes into the kids' bags instead of 3 Musketeers. It made government seem real to us.

Trick-or-treaters would have a hard time even finding Mitch's new house--let alone getting past the watchdogs and video cameras. But not to worry; it wasn't meant to be. Somebody (probably a rabble-rousing Democrat) pointed out that the dodgy old Indiana constitution requires the governor to live in the state's capital city. Mitch retracted and said he will comply, but he still doesn't want to live in a creepy old house. He's going to stay put in his McMansion overlooking Geist Reservoir—one of suburban Indianapolis' most prestigious (and off-the-beaten-path) addresses.

Trains? We don't need no stinkin' trains.

Mitch has aligned himself with the highway builders and the oily, oily Bushco interests by endorsing Georgie's proposal to end Amtrak subsidies. Never mind that a high-speed rail line linking Indianapolis to Chicago would cut a three hour car trip to two hours and ignite business in the Hoosier capital. Never mind that highways and airports wouldn't even exist without massive government subsidies. And never mind the 1000+ Amtrak workers in the Beech Grove, Indiana repair shops. There's something about trains that bothers Republicans. They seem to favor burning vast quantities of mid-East oil in oversize SUVs and overloaded jets, while sending other people's kids to Iraq to secure the supply.

Mitch is quoted in the Star as saying, "Every time someone gets on an Amtrak train it would be less expensive to buy them an airplane ticket and hand it to them on the platform." Well, Mitch, as someone who travels to Indianapolis and back once a month from Philadelphia, I'll tell ya. Take your airline ticket and shove it. I can't stand the humiliating security measures like removing my belt and taking off my shoes. I don't like my luggage getting lost. I fear being stranded by weather or dare-I-say-it, terrorists. I'd choose a high-speed train that would cut my ten hour drive time on the Pennsyvania Turnpike to eight hours on a train. I could plug in my computer, do some work, and rub elbows with some fellow Americans. And oh yeah—not cosume twenty seven barrels of Iraqui or Saudi or Alaskan oil for the trip.

It makes me wonder. What airlines and oil companies does my man Mitch own stock in?


At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... certainly hit the point that my cuz has been on lately...........I really must check into our problems more. This all-day kindergarten is pathetic. Consume more hours for little children away from their parent. Thanks for the info..........

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want out of Indiana so badly....

What's stoping me?

*clingy mother
*many other things


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