Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Base Likes Their Bases

One of the advantages of age is that you develop perspective. You are able to see an arc, a sweep of images, ideas and thoughts which rise and fall over the years. So it is with the current fuss over military base closings in our country. This issue has a long and storied history. One administration or another has been trying to close down bases ever since the end of WWII. Generally, they've had about the same luck that the current effort is having. And politicians love the fray. It allows them to stand up and pontificate, knowing that the decision wasn't theirs, so they can't be blamed. As always, the issue gets down to people's personal, pocketbook concerns. While closing bases is looked on as a money-saving effort by the federal government (and that should appeal to the supposedly fiscally responsible crowd) you'll find Joe Q. Conservative up in arms when the base just happens to be in his backyard. Suddenly, the concept that a base may represent nothing more than a large, gun-metal gray welfare state isn't something he wants to hear. He'll stand on the corner, shoulder-to-shoulder with his blue-collar, Democratic buddies, screaming that the base must remain open! Jobs must be saved! This is an isue that forces the "run government like a business" crowd to stand up for their principals. As you've noticed....most of them don't. And as you've also noticed. Nobody is too surprised.