Garrison Keillor turns his pen to the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Along with his disdain for Minnesota government and they apparently abysmal attention paid to infrastructure in the past, he as this observation in today’s Salon.com on the belated political response:
The way to get money to fix a bridge is for it to collapse and kill people, and so Congress promptly awarded Minnesota $250 million for the fallen I-35W. The usual suspects held press conferences to express shock and concern, pledge support, etc. The governor called for a time of healing and he proclaimed confidence in his commissioner of transportation, a large ebullient woman in a bright red blouse. There were prayer services. The Current Occupant came to view the wreckage and to express, in that intense and aimless way of his, his hopes for a better life for us. And then, having raised our hopes, he did not resign from office after all.
The state of Illinois, currently embroiled in a ridiculous budget battle with Governor Blagojevitch, a man more concerned about his last haircut and always-being-right than true dialog with his legislature, has over 1,100 bridges considered to be at risk. Keillor’s anger at Minnesota and the Feds for lack of foresight could just as well be turned on Illinois, or so many other states. The politicians’ response is often too little, too late. Again from Keillor:
Unless the bridges get blown up by helpful terrorists, making us eligible for Halliburton to come in and rebuild them, I don’t imagine that much will happen. There will be an investigation and someday, when we are much older, we will learn that the bridge collapsed due to a unique set of circumstances that could not have been predicted by anybody. Nobody had sex with that woman. Everybody was doing a heckuva job.