The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, June 07, 2007

An unlovely bunch of coconuts.

Aren't Republicans cute? You can run down the ever-lengthening list of corrupt members of the GOP-- a fair number have been imprisoned (and should be pardoned immediately for such gross miscarriages of justice, of course), many more have resigned in disgrace, a large crop is currently under investigation, and the vast majority are still going about their business. But it only took one corrupt Democrat for them to decide that the problem is spread evenly inside the Beltway. Really, it's the sort of adorable argumentation you get from 5 year-olds.

But all that petulant up-is-down stubbornness is pretty much the only defense against mountains of facts, oceans of evidence, and the unceasing downpour of reality.

It is no secret that campaign contributions sometimes lead to lucrative official favors. Rarely, though, are the tradeoffs quite as obvious as in the twisted case of Coconut Road.

The road, a stretch of pavement near Fort Myers, Fla., that touches five golf clubs on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, is the target of a $10 million earmark that appeared mysteriously in a 2006 transportation bill written by Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska.

Mr. Young, who last year steered more than $200 million to a so-called bridge to nowhere reaching 80 people on Gravina Island, Alaska, has no constituents in Florida.

The Republican congressman whose district does include Coconut Road says he did not seek the money. County authorities have twice voted not to use it, until Mr. Young and the district congressman wrote letters warning that a refusal could jeopardize future federal money for the county.

The Coconut Road money is a boon, however, to Daniel J. Aronoff, a real estate developer who helped raise $40,000 for Mr. Young at the nearby Hyatt Coconut Point hotel days before he introduced the measure.