James Carville noted years ago that, from the standpoint of political strategists, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Alabama in between,” or words to that effect. He has been pilloried by critics on the left and right for his remark, but I think he was accurate in this respect: A cold-hearted reactionary such as Tom Corbett couldn’t have been elected governor without overwhelming help from “low-information” voters — the sort of people who vote against their own interests — in the mostly rural counties that make up most of PA.
Moveon.org paid tribute to Corbett this week:
Governor Corbett is hands down our Scrooge of the Year in PA. “Ebenezer” Corbett’s budget bestows homelessness and ill health on PA’s Bob and Emily Cratchits by terminating the PA Housing Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) that kept tens of thousands of families in their homes, and by eliminating the Adult Basic Health Insurance that helped keep 41,000 subscribers alive. Corbett saved his cruelest cuts for Tiny Tim and the youngest Pennsylvanians, slicing $900 million from public schools and $245 million from state universities.
Except that MoveOn was being too kind to Tom Corbett, who has been turning tricks for the Marcellus Shale drillers since he took office. Corbett has ignored environmentalists who warn that fracking — the process of drilling to access natural gas deposits — will cause widespread contamination of PA’s freshwater supply. It’s easy to picture him taking bids on which company gets exclusive rights to distribute bottled waters in contaminated areas. Not so fast, Tiny Tim, that pint of water will cost you five bucks.
MoveOn will rally outside Corbett’s Philly office tomorrow.