Of course, it you knew it was bound to happen. Check the comments here (thanks to ST reader GWR for the tip) and the Shot in the Dark blog notes the politicizing already taking place in Minnesota (thanks to Bak for that tip).
The ‘bats don’t ever put their hatred to bed for even a few minutes, even in times of tragedy.
Update I: Here’s video of the collapse of the bridge:
Here’s a flashback to the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. The swaying of the bridge alone is hard to watch, let alone the collapse:
Update II: This didn’t take long, did it?
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) opened the Thursday session of the Senate, he warned that the bridge disaster was a “wake-up call” regarding infrastructure investment across the country.
Later, Reid and other Democratic leaders went a step further, bashing Republicans for failing to pass a water resources and development act, known as WRDA on Capitol Hill, for seven years, saying that the bill was essential to investing in American infrastructure.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that funds transportation programs, slammed President Bush for threatening to veto the transportation bill because it exceeds his initial budget request.
“This is what I worry about every day. The lack of investment in infrastructure is frightening” Murray said. “This is what [Bush] is threatening to veto — investment in infrastructure for [roads] we go to work on every day.”
Reid even suggested that Bush has been too distracted by the Iraq war and post-Sept. 11 national security needs to focus on the country’s water, sewer and transportation infrastructure.
“Since 9/11, we have taken our eye off the ball” Reid said.
If he means “we” as in Democrats, he’s right about that: Democrats have taken their eye off the ball since 9-11, and have been focusing it on the WRONG target: GWB, rather than Islamofascism.
In any event, never underestimate the Democrats ability to politicize a tragedy before the smoke even clears.
Update III: An intriguing headline from the AP: Minn. bridge problems uncovered in 1990:
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota officials were warned as early as 1990 that the bridge that plummeted into the Mississippi River was “structurally deficient,” yet they relied on a strategy of patchwork fixes and stepped-up inspections.
During the 1990s, later inspections found fatigue cracks and corrosion in the steel around the bridge’s joints. Those problems were repaired. Starting in 1993, the state said, the bridge was inspected annually instead of every other year.
A 2005 federal inspection also rated the bridge structurally deficient, giving it a 50 on scale of 100 for structural stability.
Got that? During the first President Bush’s term, the bridge was found to be structurally deficient. During the Clinton administration there was an effort to fix those problems. During the second President Bush’s term, the bridge was found again to be structurally deficient.
Omigosh – I guess this means that both Bush presidents were responsible for this tragedy, while Clinton’s hands are, of course, clean …