Your pungent April 5 editorial, “Derail this gravy train,” on the boondoggle of running a train from Las Vegas to nowhere — er, make that Victorville, Calif. — was exactly on point. And its political backdrop raises a troubling question. While I confess to a strong preference for U.S. Senate Democratic leadership rather than that of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), I have to wonder about the slack accorded Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) in his parochialism on issues that go well beyond Nevada. First, he cons 2008 presidential nominee Barack Obama into prematurely abandoning the proposal to place a nuclear waste complex at Yucca Mountain. Now he’s asking the taxpayers’ indulgence of his high-speed-rail fantasies. Is it heretical to ponder a tipping point between such self-serving scheming and the national interest?

Joel Darmstadter, Bethesda