Politicization

August 2nd, 2007at 08:58pm Posted by Eli

So I assume by now that you’ve all heard by now about that bridge that collapsed in Minnesota. During rush hour. Absolutely horrible, and thank God only two lanes were open, or it would have been even worse. Minnesota Monitor has a great roundup post of blog reaction to the tragedy – it appears to be due to structural deficiencies that the MN DOT never got around to repairing (actually, they were so bad that engineers recommended that the bridge be replaced), possibly due to Republican budget-cutting to avoid tax increases. (News flash for Republicans: This is what taxes are FOR.)

Aside from the conservabloggers who think that the collapse simply must have been due to a terrorist attack (they were very shaken by the Nefarious Blowtorch Plot), there are a bunch who are outraged, simply outraged that Democrats and liberals would have the nerve to score cheap political points by asking whether the bridge collapse was an inevitable outcome of defunding the infrastructure. You know, much like the drowning of New Orleans and the contamination of our food supply were also inevitable consequences of defunding essential government functions.

So, okay, fine, let’s stipulate that only a terrible, awful, ghoulish person would use a tragedy to push a political agenda. I give you our Commander-In-Chief:

I spoke to Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybak this morning. I told them that… Secretary [Peters] would be there. I told them we would help with rescue efforts, but I also told them how much we are in prayer for those who suffered. And I thank my fellow citizens for holding up those who are suffering right now in prayer.

We also talked about — in the Cabinet meeting talked about the status of important pieces of legislation before the Congress. We spent a fair amount of time talking about the fact that how disappointed we are that Congress hasn’t sent any spending bills to my desk. By the end of this week, members are going to be leaving for their month-long August recess. And by the time they will return, there will be less than a month before the end of the fiscal year on September the 30th, and yet they haven’t passed one of the 12 spending bills that they’re required to pass. If Congress doesn’t pass the spending bills by the end of the fiscal year, Cabinet Secretaries report that their departments may be unable to move forward with urgent priorities for our country.

This doesn’t have to be this way. The Democrats won last year’s election fair and square, and now they control the calendar for bringing up bills in Congress. They need to pass each of these spending bills individually, on time, and in a fiscally responsible way.

This is the same kind of dishonest verbal sleight-of-hand that the Bush administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Just as they juxtaposed talk of 9/11 and al Qaeda with talk of Iraq to imply blame, here Bush juxtaposes talk of the bridge collapse with talk of Democrats holding up the budget to make it sound as though the bridge collapse was the result of those foolish, stubborn Democrats withholding money. But of course, the federal budget had absolutely nothing to do with the collapse, since bridge repair/replacement would have come out of the MN state budget.

It’s the mirror image of the non-denial denial: The non-accusation accusation. I bet Dubya’s pissed that no-one thought of it after New Orleans’ levees crumbled.

(Cross-posted at Greatscat!)

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


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