Crossposted from the Dkos Rec List
Last night on Countdown Rachel Maddow made a very moving and eloquent case that the Minnesota Bridge Collapse is a perfect symbol of the rot and decay that anti-Government/anti-People Conservatism has wrought.
At the same time on O'Reilly Michelle Malkin - guest hosting for BillO - was making the case that Liberals have begun the "Kossification" of this collapse and just can't help themselves from blaming everything on Conservatives.
Particularly when it's their fault.
The crux of the problem revolves around the age old issue of taxes. Typically Republicans want taxes as low as possible, and sometimes even lower that what's possible under the argument that "government is wasteful and bloated" and the theory that "the free market will provide."
Progressives have a different view, that some tasks are simply too large, too expensive and too unprofitable to expect private industry to perform -- and many of these tasks are fundamental necessities that we simply can't do without.
Thing's like clean breathable air and water. Police, Fire and emergencies services that you can depend on. Access to affordable Health Care. Roads and Bridges that are safe and properly maintained so that they don't come crashing down like a souffle.
Of course there is the argument that Progressives have been a bit quick to assess blame for the Bridge Collapse as this diary explains.
Sure, the entire neo-con evilification of taxes -- a simplistic, mono-syllabic repetition of the notion that all your hard-earned money is simply bled off through liberal-endorsed taxes and then thrown to welfare cheats -- has led to the current situation. Not enough taxes to perform maintenance of infrastructure leads to collapse of roads, bridges, tunnels, etc.
But can the Progressive base please give up a little credit? Only a handful of months ago, Hurricane Katrina caused the deaths of hundreds and hundreds of people.
This bridge collapse killed, what, about a dozen people?
That my friends, is what the neo-con Republicans are doing: learning from their mistakes, killing far fewer people. Hell, by election time, they might be back to only killing Death Row inmates who may actually be guilty of the crimes they were convicted of.
So go up to a neo-con today and thank him or her for not killing quite as many people today as they did last year or the year before. That's real, measurable improvement.
Yes, that's right "We're making good progress" here.
How can we blame Governor Pawlenty for the collapse simply because he vetoed a gas tax measure last year that would have provided more funds for infrastructure projects?
I mean, geez, where's the connection here? It's not like Pawlenty has suddenly decided to do an about face and reconsider that measure in the aftermath of the collapse, right? (Psst.. He has)
Just consider these comments by Senator Klobuchar:
We're spending half a trillion dollars in Iraq, while our bridges are collapsing at home. Our priorities are "messed up"
The bridge victims are "almost victims of war, because out perpetual war depletes the funds to maintain our infrastructure"
During the segment Keith pointed out that some estimates are that it would take over $100 Billion to bring all of the bridges who need repairs among the 500,000 in this country up to par while we've spent over three times that in Iraq (in a War that we've essentially lost)
Rachel made several critical points.
- There aren't "Republican Bridges and Democratic Bridges".
- We in the country are paying a heavy price for a brand of conservatism that hates and demeans government.
- (Republicans claim that) Any spending on "the common good" is somehow "soft headed and suspect"
- (The legacy of Reagan and Goldwater is) a country that's just falling apart.
- Just this weak the President used anti-tax rhetoric to explain why he's going to veto kid's health insurance and a waste water infrastructure bills.
- If you only look at bridges that carry 190,000 cars a day, there are at least 20 that rate worse than that bridge that collapsed
- Historically 80% of highway money comes from the federal government, this White House would like to make this seem like a "State Problem"
None of these points are things you're were likely to hear from Michelle Malkin as she attempted to point a finger at Democrats - for finger pointing.
Tragedy brings out the best in people and the worst in people. The first instinct of many heroes at the collapse site was to save others first rather than save themselves, the first instinct of many armchair observers on the left was to "point their finger rather than lift a finger"
Yeah, because we wouldn't want to consider how any of this might have happened or how we can prevent in it the future would we? Right.
The Radical Left-Wing DailyKos Fumed:We spend billions on Iraq while things fall apart at home
Y'know I put that quote into the site search and iI couldn't find it. Malkin's graphic claims this was a "Kos Statement" that was made on August 1st, so I checked the front page diaries for that day.
I looked at posts made specifically by Kos Himself - Nothing.
But I didn't give up, cuz I'm not a quitter or anything - I tried searching for comments and bingo - I found it. from the Liveblog on the accident.
We spend billions in Iraq (190+ / 0-)
While we fall apart at home.
"You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis." - Tyler Durden
by RandySF on Wed Aug 01, 2007 at 04:36:57 PM PDT
Guess what Mr. RandySF? You are now infamous for apparently daring to make a partisan (yet true) statement on a partisan website.
The shear nerve - what were you thinking? That taxes and spending on things people need might have something to do with what happens when they don't get those things?
It's not like Senators from Minnesota and New York haven't said the same damn thing.
Fucking Kossacks must have put them up to it. Had to be. They couldn't have made the connection between taxes and government priorities all on their own.
More Malkin (if you can stomach it).
But it wasn't just anonymous (not anymore) commenters playing the "Blame Game", Air America radio host Randy Rhodes - famous (!?!) for joking about the assassination of President Bush - railed...... so here we are wasting a trillion dollars in Iraq, protecting that lie at all costs, right? Wiretapping our own citizenry so that nobody gets to uppity about that trillion being spent. And it takes like a quarter of that to repair our infrastructure... and nothing's being spent. The bridge collapse is the result of wasting a trillion dollars in Iraq
CNN's Jack Cafferty slavishly regurgitate the same talking points...In light of the Minnesota Bridge collapse, how could America better spend the two billion dollars were pouring into Iraq here at home?
And when asked how he would find money for bridge repair, Democrat (sic) Congressmen Barney Frank claimed he would
"End the War in Iraq."
Now I have to admit that Randy was clearly way off the mark with her comments. They were obviously over-the-top and completely uncalled for because we all know damn well ... It's only Half A $Trillion.
Well, So far...
But what brilliant point did Malkin make to show that everything these people had said was completely unfair and unreasonable? How did she expertly prove them all wrong in their desperate attempt to equate spending priorities with - um - spending priorities?
Read and weep. I did.
The Leftists have lost their heads. Infrastructure problems have existed in Minneapolis and across the country for decades, long before George W. Bush took office, long before the invasion of Iraq.
It's a bi-partisan failure, that needs bi-partisan fixing.
So, where are all the Democrat (sic) leaders who will condemn the poisonous Kossification of public discourse in a time of crisis? They're all at the Dailykos Convention pandering to the leftists who would rather burn political bridges than help build them.
Oh I see, Republicans are now the party of Fixing Stuff! They want to be shiny-happy bi-partisan people now that their policies are doing a prat fall onto the Mississippi river?
Let's not criticize or point out the freaking obvious in the midst of a time of crisis, that would be "burning bridges."
So while President Bush is threatening to veto CHILDRENS HEALTH CARE and infrastructure bills - we're supposed to expect him and his party to actually help "fix this problem" while they continue their War without End and stick the children they won't even give health care with the bill?
Tell me something, how are they going to Privatize this? Are we going to start a fire sale on all of our Interstate Highways now?
You are now traveling on I-10 - Brought to you by the good folks at Monsanto!
Is that how it's going to work? We'll have no more taxes, but every bridge will be a toll bridge owned and operated by a corporate entity, just like most of our Sports Stadiums have become.
Can't afford pay the toll? Sorry, you don't go to work today. Never mind school, and forget that trip to the Hospital - you're Ambulance just got stuck at the Walmart Pass.
Is that how's it's supposed to work?
Wasn't it the Bush Government that has wasted $Billions on Katrina Spending by putting the money in the hands of private industry and the Defense Department.
Across the 91 counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama designated as Katrina disaster areas, 57 percent of residents say most of the approximately $44 billion the federal government has spent on hurricane recovery in the last year has been wasted -- and that rises to 66 percent in New Orleans, an ABC News poll finds.
While billions more in government funds and services remain unspent and unused almost two years later?
Over the last year, FEMA has became a four letter word often used by survivors when venting out frustrations, and now Louisiana state officials are taking on the weight of the heightened tension by residents, city leaders, and parish leaders who have voiced complaints about the crawling pace of the storm recovery. Much of the growing tension between state and local officials in Louisiana stems from delays in federal programs that were established to reimburse local officials for a number of infrastructure projects, including road repairs, public building construction and debris removal.
FEMA has paid the state of Louisiana roughly $5.1 billion to reimburse local officials for infrastructure projects following Katrina, but only about $2 billion of that money has reached communities nearly 18 months after the storm that had 80 percent of the city of New Orleans under water. Other towns were wiped off of the map entirely.
Where is the rest of money?
And oh, by the way the temporary trailers provided by FEMA for Hurricane survivors are toxic.
For nearly a year now, the ubiquitous FEMA trailer has sheltered tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. But there is growing concern that even as it staved off the elements, it was exposing its inhabitants to a toxic gas that could pose both immediate and long-term health risks.
The gas is formaldehyde, the airborne form of a chemical used in a wide variety of products, including composite wood and plywood panels in the thousands of travel trailers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency purchased after Katrina to house hurricane victims. It also is considered a human carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
That's a Heckuvajob you guys are doing there Michelle. Heckuvajob.
Let's get one thing straight, yes, there are and have been infrastructure problems ever since we - or rather Democrat(sic) President Franklin Roosevelt - built the infrastructure. The issue here isn't the infrastructure itself, it's maintenance and upkeep of our critical resources. Y'know, those things that Republicans Historically Don't give a SHIT about?
We're not the ones who've "burned the bridges" with harsh words here - you guys are with your actions.
But if you guys really want to come to the plate and start doing your damn job of helping safeguard the people of this nation instead of fear mongering about "killers who are going to hurt our families" while our food is full of toxic chemicals, stop demeaning and demonizing the poor and the infirm while shipping their jobs overseas, stop giving massive subsidies to companies that refuse to provide health care to their employees, stop spending all your energy finding ways to bash those "Damn Dirty Democrats" and actually begin to Protect. The. Homeland....
You know where to find us (probably getting more and more Kossified by the minute)!