Recent events prove me wrong. It took less than 24 hours for Democrats to turn the I-35W bridge collapse into a partisan talking point. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kicked things off by suggesting that the nation’s infrastructure has suffered because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “Since 9/11 we have taken our eye off the ball.” It is preposterous beyond description that our nation’s senate leader is suggesting that the I-35W bridge would still be standing had we not spent money fighting the War on Terror.
Playing into Reid’s theme last night, CNN’s Jack Cafferty exploited the collapse tragedy to criticize the war in Iraq by suggesting that the money “pouring into Iraq” would have been better spent “at home.” He topped this off by featuring a viewer’s e-mail that complained that infrastructure spending is a “drop in the bucket compared to $450 billion wasted in Iraq.”
Liberal Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman helped Reid keep things going by writing today:
Not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty?! Such linkage is a prima facie attack on Pawlenty – especially when, as usual, Coleman appears incapable of criticizing his fellow Democrats. Certainly a case could be made that their plowing billions of dollars into wasteful government social programs could have been better spent on infrastructure. I, however, will not even begin to suggest that such a course would have prevented the I-35W bridge collapse.
For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It’s been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase - the first in 20 years - last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair.
I’m not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty. The outrage here is not partisan. It is general.
On Minnesota Democrats Exposed Michael Brodkorb linked to this disgusting and inexcusable post from Democratic Underground. No more need be said.
Rather, such comments by the liberals reveal nothing more than their own sick and appalling thought processes. To them, everything is political fodder. To them, good Minnesotans dying is no tragedy if they can effectively abuse the tragedy to bludgeon their opponents.
Must everything – even the worst tragedies we suffer – be politicized by the Left? Is nothing too precious, sacred, or off limits not to be subjected to the bile and slime of the Democrat political ambition?
Sadly, more – and much, much worse – is coming. That the earthly remains of the bridge collapse victims wait to be recovered has not stayed or hindered Democrat attempts to exploit the tragedy. They have learned nothing about the boundaries of civil discourse.
After working the 2002 election cycle, such Democrat tactics fail to concern me. Voters will respond to such inexcusable and cynical behavior as they have in the past. In the face of this week’s tragedy, however, even that is no comfort.