James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More likely fallout from the bridge

There are more likely consequences of the Hwy. I35W bridge collapse than those that occurred to me and about which I wrote in the essay immediately below.

The far right is out to milk every possible political gain from that terrible event and the death and pain it brought. They're doing it even as their loyal and unthinking subjects flood newspapers with letters attacking those who “play the blame game,” and “seek political gain at a time when we should be coming together.”

Frank Hornstein, my able state representative, read the piece below and politely thanked me for my analysis. He also pointed out something that I had missed: Both George Bush and Gov. Tim Pawlenty have been yammering since the bridge fell about “streamlining the regulatory process” and “cutting red tape” to get a replacement bridge built.

What that means in Neoconspeak, Hornstein noted, is “throwing out very important labor and environmental regulations, as well as promoting privatization.”

Like me, Hornstein also is concerned that the upcoming special session of the Minnesota Legislature will see another Republican right attack on public transit based on the false claim that we can't afford both transit and safe roads and bridges.

He is right on all counts.

What we need, Hornstein said in his note, is “a mass mobilization to demand that transit investments be part of any comprehensive transportation package.”

In other words, friends, take a few minutes here and there to telephone, write, email your state representatives and senators – and your members of Congress, for that matter – and make them understand that we demand transit as part of the total package. Do it now, and do it again when the Legislature is in special session.