Monday, September 13, 2010

GOP pols praise "socialist" Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted By on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 1:28 PM

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the jewels of the American East Coast, a 470-mile road that showcases some of the most gorgeous scenery in the country, protects some delicate environmental treasures, and serves both as an economic engine and a testament to the value of conservation. On Friday, the 75th anniversary of the Parkway was celebrated in a ceremony in Low Gap, N.C. Politicians from both states showed up for the celebration, including both governors and all four U.S. senators. Virginia’s Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, praised the Blue Ridge Parkway, while North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr has signed on to ask for another 50,000 acres for the Parkway.

Around 17 million people visit the Parkway every year, and, as both states’ governors pointed out Friday, it is a strong part of each state’s tourism economy. Here’s something else to remember: The Blue Ridge Parkway was an FDR/New Deal project that tacked together contributions from the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Work Progress Administration, and the Emergency Relief Administration, as well as conscientious objectors in the Civilian Public Service program during World War II. In other words, it is exactly the kind of “socialistic” government effort that McDonnell, Burr and the rest of their conservative friends would fight tooth-and-nail against if it were proposed today. Hypocritical politicians are nothing new, as we all know. But in view of the rancor and regressive politics currently being peddled every day by the GOP and the teabaggers, McDonnell and Burr’s faked enthusiasm for the Parkway seemed particularly ridiculous, and worth pointing out.

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