Arnold Says the US Should be More Like BC

Did I ever men­tion that my favourite TV theme is John Williams’ music to ‘Meet the Press’? It’s dri­ving, but catchy music, and the part where the vio­lins leap by a minor-ninth always sounds like a Mahler sym­phon­ic theme to me (I’m think­ing the 6th or 7th Sym­pho­ny — one of these days I’ll play excerpts and point it out). The oth­er part I like is near the end of it, where the brass break out into a bit of coun­ter­point, which has been said to be a musi­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of polit­i­cal spar­ring, but I just hear John Williams mak­ing a lit­tle nod to J.S. Bach.

Not long after that intro­duc­tion, we had one of those jaw-drop­ping, did-he-just-say-that? moments this morn­ing at break­fast. We had TiVO’ed Meet the Press (yes, once a US News Wonk, always a US News Wonk). The guests this morn­ing were the May­or of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, the Gov­er­nor of Penn­syl­va­nia, Ed Ren­dell, and the Gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia, Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger. The three men were all cam­paign­ing for spend­ing on US Infra­struc­ture. I was thrilled to hear the term ‘High-Speed Rail’ men­tioned more than a dozen times. What made us near­ly spill our cof­fee was this bit, said by the ‘the Gov­er­na­tor’ himself:

Well, they had me fooled, at least in terms of a love-fest here between the pri­vate sec­tor and the gov­ern­ment when it comes to tran­sit. (The recent pro­ceed­ings of a law­suit by a mer­chant whose busi­ness was all but elim­i­nat­ed by the Canada­Line con­struc­tion on Cam­bie Street comes to mind). Still, com­pared to the bit­ter­ness and hatred between all things pub­lic and pri­vate in the US, I guess we do have rel­a­tive­ly more coop­er­a­tion here than they do there.

I will be thrilled to see high-speed rail show up in the US, and it would be even more sur­pris­ing to see them use British Colum­bia as the mod­el for financ­ing it.