Okay. Here’s the scoop the U.S. Senate is on board. They have agreed to move forward with a new round of military base closings that the U.S. House has already signed onto. These will be closings of bases that the military itself regards as obsolete. Now a special panel will meet to decide which bases should be shut down. Then the Congress must vote up or down on these recommendations, which means the closings will probably go through.
This bill’s passage is thus a victory for the common good over crass special-interest politics. Still, it passed by the narrow margin of 53 votes to 47 votes. So even with national security at stake, it seems that the career politicians are still protecting their reelection prospects. Which political party you belong to seems almost irrelevant. Actually, in this case most Senate Democrats sided with the Republican President, who favors the base closings. As does his Secretary of Defense. As does the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Harry Shelton, who argued that the country “cannot afford the costs associated with carrying this excess infrastructure.”
Yet most Senate Republicans opposed the bill, apparently more worried about the immediate economic impact in their backyard than the long-run impact on national security. As Minority Leader Trent Lott put it, “The timing is not good.” Lott says that the base closings are too much to ask of local communities at a time when their boys are being called upon to defend the country. Um . . . But that is the point, right? Defending the country.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.