“Hostage-Taking on the Silver Line”

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    Steve Pearlstein’s commentary in the WashPost business section, 6 May, is a MUST READ for every one of us, not just Northern Virginians.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

    Pearlstein lays out how a Republican majority on the Loudon County Board of Supervisors, in their headlong plunge “. . . to stick it to labor unions and their Democratic allies” have, in fact, seriously stunted the county’s economic development.

    Some quotes below the fold.

    Here’s the start of his commentary:

    If you want a perfect example of why government has become dysfunctional, look no further than the Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County, Va.

    A majority of the newly elected, all-Republican board has threatened to derail the extension of Metrorail out to Dulles Airport and beyond because of a requirement that the general contractor for the project negotiate a “project labor agreement” with local construction unions.

    Pearlstein concludes with some “back-of-the-envelope” calculations showing the economic advantages that Loudon County Republicans are giving up in their drive to “stick it to” Democrats and labor unions.

    What’s REALLY scary is that Pearlstein’s commentary appears in the Post Business section on the same day the Post book review section carries a review of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With The New Politics of Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein.

    You’ll recall a few days ago when Mann and Ornstein concluded that, yes, the real problem is the Republicans.  In the book they write:

    Today’s Republican Party has little in common even with Ronald Reagan’s GOP, or with earlier versions that believed in government. Instead it has become “an insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition . . . all but declaring war on the government.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

    They’re aiming at Republicans in Congress — but they hit the Loudon County gang.