President Obama is currently on what might be called the Infrastructure Antiques Road Show. It’s all part of his push on the Republicans to support and pass his jobs bill, a bill that would fund the rebuilding of a huge array of decaying roads, dams and bridges. The other day, Mr. Obama made his case with the Brent Spence Bridge in the background. This a bridge, connecting Ohio and Kentucky, that goes back to the Kennedy days. The government says it is “functionally obsolete’ and “unsafe”. Not surprising, since it was originally designed to carry 85,000 vehicles a day, but now over twice that number traverse its span.
The president shrewdly chose the Brent Spence Bridge as his poster bridge. It ‘s a transportation artery between the territories of two Republican honchos: Speaker of the House Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader McConnell of Kentucky. Neither one relishes having this political laser focused on his forehead. So it was not unexpected that they cried foul and accused the president of campaign skullduggery.
I think at some point this kind of obstructionism is seen for what it is. I see no reason why both parties can’t put the good of the nation above partisan politics. Rebuilding our infrastructure would seem like a common ground. I hope the Republican leadership would eventually concede this. But why do I feel like someone who is told: “If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you”?
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