I am stunned. I never wrote about it here, there being so much controversy and it being a seemingly political issue, but when the BRAC commission originally announced the New London submarine base would close, I figured it was a done deal.
Connecticut officials reacted with joy.
“Yahoo!” said U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. “Submarine base New London lives, and I think that it will live forever.”
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she was in tears as she listened to the decision while in her car on the way to New London. The governor said she had someone in her office hold a phone to a television set so she could hear the vote. “We did it! We did it!” Rell said.
It seemed, as a Blue State, Connecticut had little pull in 21st Century Washington. The BRAC commission was supposed to be non-partisan, but…
Well, I could not have been any more wrong!
Forget about security for a moment, because I am not qualified to judge how much more or less secure our nation would be with submarines based elsewhere. My concern was Connecticut and how our state’s well being would be affected.
In terms of economics this would have been a tragic body blow to the state. All those people and jobs, all that money and commerce, all the subcontractors necessary to run the base – gone.
Before the advent of casino gambling, Southeastern Connecticut was an economic black hole. This would have brought us back to where we were before the casinos and then some.
Am I looking at this from a selfish standpoint? Absolutely.