When the rain comes


It's raining today in the metro-Washington, D.C., area--and D.C. drivers reacted the way they often do when anything falls from the sky: by forcing traffic to a crawling pace.

I know so because a drive into the city from a mere 8 miles of Virginia suburbs away took more than an hour before I even had a chance to cross the Potomac. That laughably small distances should take an inordinate amount of time to drive, I'm used to by now; congestion in the metro D.C. region is among the worst in the nation. Even so, 8 miles per hour due to a little wetness is excessive--isn't it, people-who-are-constantly-amazed-that-rain-exists?

Unfortunately, no amount of education about precipitation or highway expansion will likely cure this. It's time for decisive measures.

Let's move the capital to Denver.

Drivers there are used to weather, for one thing. And the weather is much better. Although you get snow, days of clear sky or only partial-cloud cover heavily outweigh days of the sort of dismal grey visible now from my window.

And, of course, marijuana is now legal there, the presence of which might have a soothing effect on the furrowed minds of obstinate lawmakers.

Moving the capital would correct the gross East Coast favoritism that Washington, D.C., embodies; chosen over Philadelphia due to its mid-Atlantic geography of being non-Northern but not too Southern, the location of the capital was a compromise between regional blocs. Which was fine for when the United States was a seaboard-hugging strip. Post-Manifest Destiny, a new kind of compromise is in order. Hence, Denver, with its Great Plains-meet-Rocky Mountains locale--far closer to the center of today's America, and the kind of place a national capital should be (as opposed to a water-logged mud flat).

You might say I'm overreacting to a frustrating hour spent stuck in traffic with nothing except tedious NPR shows to keep me occupied. You'd be incorrect. You might then say I'm actually pushing a provincial agenda disguised as a consequence of Manifest Destiny because I happen to be from Colorado and just spent a couple weeks there reconnecting with old friends and places. Yeah, maybe. But the traffic and weather here still suck. - Dave