On August 1st, 2007, the I35W Bridge over the Mississippi collapsed, probably because the Minnesota DOT, run by a crony of the Republican no-taxes (and thus no spending on essential services) governor Tim Pawlenty failed in the areas of inspection and/or engineering. It was a big mess, people died, and we are spending millions to put up what is essentially the same bridge (but not collapsed).

John McCain. And the man behind McCain, Tim Pawlenty. And the Bridge Behind Pawlenty, the I35 bridge. Not shown: God. The deity behind the bridge.

After the bridge collapsed, MnDOT was shamed into inspecting all the other bridges in the state, and several have now been closed because they were also about to collapse.

Even the bridge that graces the Minnersota 150 anniversary postage stamp had to be closed for a period of time.

Yesterday, a giant hunk of concrete fell from a bridge overpass on I 35E in Saint Paul.

Saint Paul is, of course, where the Republican National Convention will be held in a few weeks.

Oh, and don’t forget: Interstate I35 is God’s Highway.

The ironies abound and astound. One would think that these ironies would also weight down …. and sink …. any chances for the Ill Fated John McCain to even consider asking Tim The Bridge Pawlenty to be his vice presidential running mate. But there are indications that this may well happen. Tomorrow. Monday.

Tim Pawlenty has been pulling a disappearing act lately, spending a lot of time at McCain’s Campaign HQ. That makes sense because he is a co-organizer of the campaign. But reporters obviously smelled something two days ago when they grilled him about this. He became visibly disturbed by the grilling and blew the reporters off.

More recently, Jeff Fecke is reporting Noam Scheiber as saying that a source inside somewhere (but we do not know where) indicates that Pawlenty has made a number of sudden changes in his schedule.

This information is very far from certain. But it makes me laugh. I think it is hysterically funny that John McCain would think that Pawlenty would increase his chances of winning in Minnesota. If anything, it would decrease his chances.

And the Republicans had better hope … no wait, make that pray … that no more of Pawlenty’s bridges fall down during the convention. August is the season for it (seriously, it is).


  1. #1 Zeno
    July 28, 2008

    I suppose a Pawlenty pick would be intended to ensure that Minnesota will be a red state on election day. But would it? Isn’t Pawlenty damaged goods in the state? I can see Minnesotans getting embarrassed as the entire nation focuses on Ted “The Bridge” Pawlenty and makes fun of his less-government is good-government (if you don’t mind the occasional disaster and some unnecessary deaths).

    Since I support Obama, I think I would like to see McCain choose Pawlenty, assuming that Larry Craig isn’t available.

  2. #2 Matt Hussein Platte
    July 28, 2008

    … and my Senator, Chuck Hagel, still conspicuously absent from this slow-running Republican train wreck. Atta boy, Chuck.

  3. #3 Brad Arnold
    July 28, 2008

    I am from MN, and find our governor with the boy scout demeanor but ruthless budget cutting philosophy to be obnoxious and hypocritical. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to disqualify Pawlenty for the VP position because some bridges “malfunctioned.” Did you know that the 35W bridge that collapsed was rated 50 on a scale of 1-100? Frankly, I wish Pawlenty would be MacCain’s running mate-MacCain is going to get spanked in the election, and it give me a change to vote against Pawlenty again.

  4. #4 Brad Arnold
    July 28, 2008

    By the way, I know this is off-topic, but it is very important: as the 35W bridge collapse shows, complex systems (when forced) resist change, then unexpectly abruptly shift to a new stable state (i.e. collapse). The reason I bring up is that we are forcing our climate with greenhouse gas emissions bigtime, and the unexpected (but predictable) result will be abrupt ecosystem collapse:

    “Few seem to realise that the present IPCC models predict almost unanimously that by 2040 the average summer in Europe will be as hot as the summer of 2003 when over 30,000 died from heat. By then we may cool ourselves with air conditioning and learn to live in a climate no worse than that of Baghdad now. But without extensive irrigation the plants will die and both farming and natural ecosystems will be replaced by scrub and desert. What will there be to eat? The same dire changes will affect the rest of the world and I can envisage Americans migrating into Canada and the Chinese into Siberia but there may be little food for any of them.” –Dr James Lovelock’s lecture to the Royal Society, 29 Oct. ’07

  5. #5 llewelly
    July 28, 2008

    Relevant to Brad Arnold’s comment, McCain cannot be trusted to take any useful action on global warming. Consider these articles from Joe Romm:
    Anti-Wind McCain .
    McCain’s Double-Talk Express On Global Warming .

    Or you can google climateprogress.org for McCain’s name.

  6. #6 Jeff Rosenberg
    July 28, 2008

    Don’t worry, our Dept. of Transportation tells us that giant chunks of concrete falling out of our highways is normal:

    “It’s basically the same type of situation as like when your sidewalk starts breaking apart due to weather and the salt and just the elements.”

    See? No problem. Our freeways are just “breaking apart.”

  7. #7 Jim RL
    July 28, 2008

    I think Pawlenty would be an especially good pick considering McCain’s gas tax holiday idea. It would be a great way to remind people that gas taxes pay for vital infrastructure.

  8. #8 mlf
    July 28, 2008

    RE: Jim RL

    That goes back to the idea that the bright spot of a McCain presidency might be that he would further ruin the republican brand and cause even more people to sit up and take notice of what bad policies can do to a country.

  9. #9 Virgil Samms
    July 28, 2008

    What are the options? Bobby “The Exorcist” Jindal?

  10. #10 DouglasG
    July 28, 2008

    Governor Molnau NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  11. #11 deang
    July 28, 2008

    A lot of anti-Big Government right-wingers might really take to the idea of Governor Falling Bridges as veep. All he’d have to do to prove his anti-social services, anti-infrastructure bonafides is point to those bridges.