Imagine the unimaginable

Of course, the United States does have a few clusters that look ripe for rail, notably Texas, and the Eastern Seaboard. And instead of high-speed rail between these cities, we have the Acela, which takes eight hours to travel from Washington to Boston and shakes like a maraca player with a meth habit.

Megan McArdle, explaining why we’ll not get “bullet trains” in the United States.

California’s bullet train was (and is) the Green New Deal in miniature … At the time of its demise, the bullet train was years behind schedule, had spent more than seven times its originally allocated budget, and, of course, carried no passengers.

Kevin D. Williamson, with his somewhat different take on things. More:

The same people who brought you this ingenious plan want to take over the majority of the U.S. economy — agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, utilities, and more — and put those commanding heights under political discipline deployed in exactly the same immeasurably stupid way for exactly the same immeasurably stupid reasons. They are calling it the “Green New Deal” this time around.

But it has been called many other things. Sing along if you know the words:

“We’re at war with the Germans!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“There’s a Great Depression!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“We’re at war with the Germans again!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“Stagflation!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“Some people make a lot more money than others!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“Global warming?”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“I have this weird pain in my right shoulder. I think it may be the rotator cuff, but I’m not entirely sure. Makes a funny clicking noise when I do bench presses.”

“The government must take over the economy!”

“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously!”

“The government must take over the economy!”

Etc.

Hmmm. This is why I see, I guess, warnings along these lines:

Donald Trump can’t win in 2020, but the Democrats can lose … If the Democrats present a face that is scarier than the reality show of the previous four years, many Americans could vote against the Democrats rather than for the Republicans.

(Jonah Goldberg). It’s not just reliable conservatives who say that. Here’s a more centrist pundit:

The Green New Deal that several of the leading presidential candidates have co-sponsored is a far-left wish list — the progressive equivalent of Ted Cruz’s 2016 proposal to institute a flat tax and abolish four Cabinet-level departments of the executive branch — combined with the risible suggestion that the trillions of dollars of resulting spending can be paid for simply by running gargantuan deficits on top of the massive debt the Obama and Trump administrations have already piled up. And if that weren’t enough, the FAQ page about the Green New Deal that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office briefly released and then withdrew added on what sounded like material from a Monty Python skit devised to ridicule environmentalists. End air travel! Kill all the cows to save us from the scourge of bovine flatulence!

(Damon Linker).

This is why “Never Trump” can be a slogan but should never be a literal vow of future votes: it’s imaginable that the Democrats will come up with someone unimaginably worse.

* * * * *

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