A Republican Worth Listening To

Rather than endless coffee sessions with John Boehner, maybe the White House should pay more attention to this guy:

Rep. John L. Mica (Fla.), the ranking Republican on the transportation committee, called the proposed infrastructure spending “almost minuscule” and expressed regret that the administration had not crafted its plan around an ambitious goal such as building high-speed rail in 11 corridors around the country, which Mica said would cost $165 billion.

“They keep comparing this to Eisenhower, but he proposed a $500 billion highway system, and they’re going to put $30 billion” in roads and bridges, he said. “How farcical can you be? Give me a break.”

I wouldn’t call the proposals farcical. My understanding is that the predominant administration view is that the stimulus shouldn’t be infrastructure-focused but that infrastructure should be tackled in a serious way in separate legislation down the pike. I’m not sure I would have gone that way, but it’s not a crazy view. But Rep Mica’s view isn’t crazy either. And when you’re looking to craft legislative compromise, sitting down with the people who have non-crazy objections seems like the way to go.