Our Petty President: Obama versus Wisconsin
Rahm Emanuel might be gone but the Chicago-style of brass knuckle politics he brought to the White House continues.
This week, in a continuation of the anti-Wisconsin snit that Barack Obama has worked himself into, our State found itself shut out of federal train money to upgrade the Milwaukee-Chicago Hiawatha line. To our petty President's way of thinking, if you don't want to waste $810 million on a not-so-high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison, you don't get any assistance for rail transportation that actually makes sense.
Last July, Obama's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stood shoulder to shoulder with former Governor Jim Doyle in Watertown and proudly proclaimed that no one could stop the choo choo between Milwaukee and Madison. Given that this is precisely what Governor Scott Walker did, it's understandable that LaHood was embarrassed.
Still, even by the standards of the Obama Administration, denying funds to upgrade the Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line is .. well ... small.
Blowing a ton of taxpayer money on a Madison-Milwaukee train that very few people would ride never made any sense. On the other hand, upgrading one of the most successful rail lines in the country should be a no-brainer. "No brains" is exactly what the Obama Administration showed this week though by screwing over Southeastern Wisconsin.
Governor Walker describes Obama's decision to mess over Wisconsin, and other Midwestern states with Republican governors, as "remarkable". I think there's a lot of other words that might be more accurate. Let's see, how about "petty" and "payback" for two.
The good news is that Wisconsin voters will soon have a chance to let President Obama know what they think about his politics of retaliation.
In looking at the 2012 electoral map, it's difficult to see how the President gets re-elected without carrying Wisconsin. Given the economic success that Wisconsin is starting to experience under Governor Walker, the"let's stick it to Wisconsin and blame it on Walker" strategy that Obama is rolling out might not be the most well thought out plan.
Politics aside though, shafting the Hiawatha line was a petty move by a President who should aspire to better.