MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 15 — It took all of two weeks for the political unity brought on by a deadly bridge collapse here to fall apart.
Even as divers continued searching the Mississippi River on Wednesday for four people missing since the busy Interstate 35W bridge fell on Aug. 1, political leaders were dueling over plans for a replacement span.
The battle lines extended from disputed plans for light rail to suggestions that Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was unnecessarily rushing reconstruction to impress Republican Party leaders, who will hold their presidential convention in the Twin Cities in September 2008. Mr. Pawlenty says such talk is nonsense.
There appears to be genuine disagreement about how to rebuild the bridge. That disagreement has to be resolved somehow. One way to resolve it would be for everyone to drop the David Broder special acid, at which point their third eye would open up and they'd magically have access to the "bipartisan unity consensus" that God demands. Another way is to just defer to the governor, no matter how bad his plan is. A third way is to hash out some compromise behind closed doors without any public disagreement... or public scrutiny or input. Or, fourth, they can do their damn jobs and fight it out.
#4 is fine with me. I don't know why it troubles journalists so.