My pal and neighbor, Flash at Centrisity, notes the part of Minnesota’s response to the Bridge Collapse that we’d all like to focus on:
Minnesotans have shown their true colors with displays heroism and unconditional support. Through this tragedy we will rediscover the pride we have in our fellow citizens.
What he said; except that there’s no “re”-discovering. Minnesotans have much to be proud of, especially during crises.
Not all of us, of course. After a couple of contentious sessions in which Governor Pawlenty held the line on the DFL’s demand for more tax money, one might expect this disaster to bring out the ugly side of someone.
And indeed it has. A Saint Paul DFL operative blames the Governor and all Republicans for the disaster (in a Saint Paul politics email discussion forum; I won’t link it or list his name, for reasons that I think might be obvious):
You can all scream at me for being the first to throw stones, but here is
what I know this bridge was inspected in May of 2006 and found to have cracks in the supports. It was placed on the watch category. One only can wonder if it should have been put on the critical list. It had been listed as having fatigue details from as long as 2001 and by 2006 they were able to take pictures of the fatigue cracks.
Governor NO MORE TAXES AND LET THE RABBLE DIE was just on the tube claiming that the bridge was given a “clean bill of health.’ He knows that what he was saying is as full of crap as he is.
This is the result of Minnesota not raising the gas tax in years.
The Governor has now directly killed people by his policies.
Pretty stupid? Of course.
Worse, in its own way, was my “represenative”, DFLer Alice Hausman. Girders hadn’t finished falling into the river, and the blazing truck was still on fire, last night when she went on WCCO Radio and hinted – without really coming out and saying it – at basically the same thing.
The bodies were barely cold, and some (by no means all) DFLers were ready to blame the Governor and the MNGOP.
The NTSB has barely gotten their luggage unpacked. The engineers are months away from having an answer. I’m no engineer, but the simultaneous collapse of nearly 2,000 feet of bridge just might be a sign of a major design flaw, as opposed to a deteriorated girder failing.
In any case, I don’t recall Governor Pawlenty making any bones about the fact that he’d rather spend money on roads (and bridges) than on boondoggles like the Ventura Trolley and the Central Corridor.
Wow. Imagine how many bridges we could fix if we could get that billion dollars back that we spent on the Ventura Trolley…
Anyway; no more politics for now.