The following is a comment that I left at Captain's Quarters today, after reaching what I hoped was some sort of epiphany on the infrastructure question.
While the human tragedy in terms of loss of human life, injury and associated trauma are very real, I had been waiting since the first news of this story broke to exactly what form the finger pointing would take. I'll have to tip my hat to the Capt. for being one of the more restrained, realistic voices on the issue.
I've already taken considerable flack on this over at Middle Earth Journal, but it occurs to me that it should be important to remember that our daily lives constantly depend on technology. Sometimes that technology fails. We build things. Sometimes those things break.
Does this mean I'm advocating doing nothing? Obviously not.. The point is that it is simply wrong to try to turn this particular situation into a political football. Placing blame here or there seems to be less productive than seeing, for once, a real solution to a real problem. I believe that there are still people in this country who have an honest interest in seeing the two parties engage in a true bipartisan effort at creating, at least for a brief period, a functional government that works in the best interest of all Americans.
This is never going to happen on the flashy, "big ticket" political hot potatoes. The lines have been drawn and they're not going to converge. But if there's one issue where everyone can come together, repairing the country's infrastructure seems to be it. It's boring. It's gray. It's politically inert.
This is a moment where the challenge can be thrown down in front of Congress. It can be thrown by the public and, in large part, by the voice of the blogosphere as a megaphone for those voices. We can challenge them to be brave enough to not find some way to make the other party out to be the bad guys... the enemy.
Or are we so far gone down the red/blue divide that I'm just dreaming?