Tom Friedman's Embarrassing Bloomberg Fetish, Cont'd

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 18 2012 9:37 AM

Tom Friedman's Embarrassing Bloomberg Fetish, Cont'd

When Tom Friedman writes about the Third Party Dream, the discriminating reader turns and flees. Exposure to this concentrated level of stupidity is dangerous, possibly toxic, like a run-in with H.P. Lovecraft's "colour out of space."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

To save time, let's just dissect the idiocy of Friedman's new lede.

I had to catch a train in Washington last week.
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Uh-oh.

The paved street in the traffic circle around Union Station was in such poor condition that I felt as though I was on a roller coaster.

There's a reason for this -- a $7.8 million reconstruction project paid for by Amtrak, the Architect of the Capitol, the National Park Service, the Union Station Redevelopment Corp. and Metro.

I traveled on the Amtrak Acela, our sorry excuse for a fast train, on which I had so many dropped calls on my cellphone that you’d have thought I was on a remote desert island, not traveling from Washington to New York City.

Plenty of reasons for Amtrak's problems, but one of them is Republican certitude about cutting its funding. Mitt Romney has pledged to end the "subsidy for Amtrak," and House Republicans, who opposed the stimulus with its rail funds, have opposed current funding levels, too.

When I got back to Union Station, the escalator in the parking garage was broken.

See above re: construction paid for by government agencies.

Maybe you’ve gotten used to all this and have stopped noticing. I haven’t. Our country needs a renewal. And that is why I still hope Michael Bloomberg will reconsider running for president as an independent candidate, if only to participate in the presidential debates and give our two-party system the shock it needs.

Wait -- what? How did we end up here? If Democrats want to/are funding the transportation projects that Friedman loves dearly, why does the "two-party system" need a shock? There's some rogue DNA strand that prevents basically big/good government types like Friedman from admitting that their policy preferences would be satisfied by a party that currently exists.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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