Of Louisville's three elected representatives in Washington, only John Yarmuth seems to be on top of the Sherman Minton Bridge problem. So much so that if it re-opens, I suggest that we give credit where credit is due and rename it the Yarmuth-Minton Bridge.
Yarmuth has engaged the administration to make sure appropriate federal resources are deployed and coordinated. Yarmuth has called Mitch McConnell, presumably to make sure the Senate Minority Leader is in the loop enough to cough up some Congressional funding when the time comes. Yarmuth is getting people thinking about the implications a costly repair, or even a permanent closure, could have on the area's 30 year struggle to build two desperately needed additional bridges.
More importantly, John Yarmuth's philosophy of government includes a concept too many members of Congress deny... a legitimate place and role for government in building and maintaining the infrastructure that makes our nation's economy possible.
Louisville's other two representatives in Washington... not so much. Read what Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have had to say about the bridge. Don't worry. It won't take long, because four days into the crisis, they haven't said anything.
And it is little wonder why.
On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor in which he repeated, again and again, that President Obama's American Jobs Act, which includes a proposal to make $27 billion of improvements to our highways, is nothing but pure election year politics. For him to turn right around and acknowledge the devastating impact crumbling highways are having on his home state... he could get whiplash that way.
Then there's Rand Paul. On even days he seems to believe that the only law mankind should be subject to is the law of the jungle -- eat or be eaten. On odd days he exhibits that government paranoia that ends with people wearing tin-foil hats. An admission that the federal government might be capable of fixing a bridge if it wanted to, much less that government should actually spend any of his money to do it, seems to just be anathema to his whole reason for being.
Here is Congressman Yarmuth on The Rachel Maddow Show earning the suggestion that the rehabilitated structure one day be renamed the Yarmuth-Minton Bridge.
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).
Photo courtesy of MSNBC.
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