Gavin Newsom’s high-speed gift to Republicans

California’s $77 billion bullet-train project from San Francisco to Los Angeles was supposed to be a proof of concept at a national level—proof that high-speed rail could actually work, providing an eco-friendly alternative to cars and planes here the way it does in Europe and Asia, and also proof that America could still build big things. And the project’s initial phase, a 119-mile stretch now being built through the state’s sparsely populated Central Valley, was supposed to be a proof of concept for the project itself.

But on Tuesday, the project became proof of something else: That it’s hard to build big complicated infrastructure projects in America’s fast-turnover political culture, even a green project in America’s greenest state.

In his State of the State address, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom suspended the decade-long effort to connect San Francisco in northern California to L.A. in the south, saying the mega-project “would cost too much and take too long.” At the same time, he vowed to complete the Central Valley segment linking the struggling farm communities of Bakersfield and Merced—California’s ninth-largest and 100th-largest cities, respectively—as a standalon