Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, January 13, 2014

Excellent Point

Ana Marie Cox writes a very thoughtful piece about how the media is ignoring the biggest scandal of the moment.  Yes, "Bridgegate" ("-gate"?  Motherf....) is compelling because Christie is compelling and New York is the center of the universe.

But as Cox points out, what just happened in West Virginia really WILL likely result in deaths.  People will lose their businesses.

Our default on environmental stories is that they "just happen".  But of course, they don't "just happen".  Freedom Industries... no, really, the company that spilled toxins all over the water system of West Virginia is called Freedom Industries... works in a climate that says, "If you want to have jobs, don't regulate us."

This incentivizes the movement of risky things like chemical storage to places like West Virginia.

Now, West By God Virginia is a unique place politically.  It is about as inhospitable an electoral landscape for Obama as is possible - rural, white, older, less educated - but they have elected Democrats to office before.  But every Democrat elected has to kow-tow before Coal.

If this situation gets worse, one has to wonder what this will do to West Virginia's understanding of its relationship to the industries, that - frankly - have exploited their state for over a century.Whatever animus West Virginians may have towards Al Gore and Barack Obama would have to be balanced by animus about having their rivers poisoned.

We will likely see Natalie Tennant face off against Shelly Moore Capito for Rockefeller's Senate seat this fall.  One would think that this is a time to go on the offensive over efforts to leave the citizens of West Virginia helpless before the agenda of de-regulation that is the modern GOP.

It might not work, but it would seem a no-brainer to me.

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