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A Little Bit O' TDW Analysis: We're Not As Frickin' Stupid As You Think, Guv

DuncecapIt's been a little while since last we gave you a reflective piece on current affairs, so we thought we'd take a break from the easy hits and put our thinking caps on for a bit of commentary from your favorite dumb TDW blonde. We're calling it "Talk Down To Me: Governing By The Would-Be Philosopher-King."

They tell me I don't like the Toll Road lease because I don't understand it.

They tell me I'm averse to change because I'm a Hoosier, and we're just a little slower to adapt than your average U.S. citizen.

They tell me everything will be okay if I just trust them.

And I tell them, using my slowest, dumbest, sweetest voice, where to go and how to get there.

If supporters of this long-term lease can get away with calling its opponents xenophobic, someone needs to take them to task for insulting Hoosiers' intelligence. Republicans -- from rank-and-file electeds to GOP state chair Murray Clark to the Governor -- have been talking down to us since Day One.

"Awww, poor dears, they're just not bright enough to understand why I'm selling off state-owned infrastructure for short-term gain."

"Hold my hand, kids, and Uncle Mitch will lead you to the promised land."

"Stop being so $%^&ing resistant to change and fall in line with the rest of the proponents. I don't have all day to stand here and tell you how smart I am!"

Ah, leadership. Ain't it grand?

Instead of convincing Hoosiers this lease is the right course, the Guv has spent five months working behind closed doors to ink a deal that's apparently so far over all our heads that we could never understand its intricate details.

News flash: We get it, man. We just don't like it. And we're tired of you talking to us like we're 16-year-olds who just got in a fender-bender. Capiche?

Unless you're willing to stick all the bipartisan members of Congress opposed to the Dubai Ports World deal into the "'Fraidy Cats" category, I'd really appreciate it if you'd bring this back down to the philosophical level so we can have a decent debate.

Hoosiers, apparently by a margin of two-to-one, are opposed to this deal for a number of reasons. Yes, they're opposed to foreigners owning our infrastructure, and we've all seen what can happen when a seemingly routine business transaction lists a questionable company on the "buy" side. We don't like the idea of other nations -- or private investors generally -- owning things that should remain in the public trust.

We're not fond of having our elected officials -- who are in office for a period of two or four years -- selling off our state piece at a time for decades to come.

We dislike the fact that this deal was cut under the table behind three locked doors, and we wish you'd asked for some input before going whole-hog into it without legislative approval. Forgiveness ain't always better than permission.

We understand that there's a shortage of funding for road construction, but we want to talk about the options before you make a decision for us and cram it down our throats.

We don't want you to act like you're the all-knowing business gods whose altar we should flock to with flowers and gold. (Your past dabblings in the business world, Governor, haven't really benefited anyone but you. Which might be a badge of honor among your friends, but it raises a few concerns on our end of things.)

Put very simply, we would like for you to start governing. No more intimidation. No more attacks. No more shady political antics. It's not that hard to reach out across the aisle -- and, for that matter, within your own party -- and listen to other people. Find out what they're thinking. Ask for some advice, for heaven's sake.

What's happening right now smacks of desperation. A Governor with a 37 percent approval rating lashes out across the aisle at those who are representing the will of the people? And then he has the gall to tell everyone he's unpopular because he's doing the right thing?

It's true that "popular" doesn't always mean "progressive," but there's precious little unique or innovative about a deal that hands over control of a state asset in exchange for a pot o' gold. That's about as basic and dull as ideas come.

The age of the philosopher-king has long since passed, and Hoosiers expect their leaders to lead by inclusion and kindness, not arrogance and intimidation. While you're over there contemplating the meaning of the shadows on the wall, Governor, you might consider that the shadows themselves are growing a bit restless. No wall. No fire. No shadows. No city-state. No need for you.


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Nice job, tdw blonde, but he isn't listening to you, he does NOT care, and his disciples who read your words will only stiffen their resolve. He is the tin man. He has no heart. He will continue as the stark naked emperor until he is replaced in 08 or until the state legislature develops some backbone. Not likely either. Sad, but this is not a fairy tale, a real life horror story and we can only hope we live to see a happy ending someday.

"owning things that should remain in the public trust"

Please tell me what those are?

Thought I'd share my comments from last week on the JG blog

I spoke with two retired Directors of Public Works about the toll road issue. Both held their position in cities larger than Fort Wayne and are republicans. Both said they felt this was a bad idea.

The crux of their argument was simple -
1)They don't feel comfortable having elected officials decide the long-term fate of the state's transportation system. The governor will most likely not be around 25 years from now and therefore will not be held accountable for this decision. This means the issue should get increased oversight and an INDEPENDENT commission should study the idea and give its recommendation.

2)Where will the future maintenance budget come from? 20-30% of any project's cost should be reserved for maintenance. However, ribbon cutting is always more exciting than repairing and therefore maintenance is usually overlooked. We were told last year that we would have to increase the gas tax because we couldn't afford the essential maintenance on the roads we currently operate. And now we're adding billions more?

3)How do we know that these current projects are the most essential? What happens when we have a more pressing transportation need 10 years from now - one that was overlooked? Do we sell/lease more assets to pay for this? Will the current administration use this money wisely?

4)The paxpayer will have to resubsidize this project if/when the private company fails. There is no other option - the private company can walk away at any point but Hoosiers are stuck driving on these roads every day. A for-profit corporation has no incentive to keep the roads well maintained - in fact it's incentive is the very opposite.

It's time the governor quits hiding behind the xenophobia talk - that's not what this is about and he knows it. The question at hand is whether this is a fiscally responsible decision for the state and there are many legitimate concerns the governor must address. Hopefully fear-mongering and propaganda will not bleed it's way from DC to Indiana on this issue...

He knows nothing of the sort. This is what he wants, dammit, and he's going to throw a hissy if he doesn't get his way. Getting his way is what it's all about. Excellent points, but lost on current gov. sorry to say.

Just wanted to let you know that we are loving TDW and have you linked to the site all over.

Your Allen County Fan Club

When you put it that way, TDW, it DOES make the toll road seem a bit like Louisiana selling off its natural resources in the early part of the last century, and less like "the next big thing."

My concern is that none of the Representives that we have elected are standing up to him and saying "NO". They are not listening to their Constituency. So why do we even have elections??

I have a fan club? *blush* Thanks, y'all.

In the coming few days, I think you'll see some lawmakers stepping away from the Guv and this plan. As for why it's taken this many months -- and a poll -- to get them there, I think the Governor thought twisting arms, buying ads and making political promises would be enough to get this thing over the hump.

Oh, how I hope you are right. Even Meeks is threatening to abandon his own bill. But that may just be a lot of posturing. I don't know ANYBODY who likes the toll road--oh wait, just one, a banker. Everyone else I hear and overhear think the idea stinks. And they are not all from northern Indiana.

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