Monday, Todd Akin was present at the ceremonies that kicked off the rebuilding of the Old Gravois Road Bridge that crosses the Meramec River, linking two St. Louis surburbs, Fenton and Sunset Hills. The 85 year old bridge was closed in 2007 after the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis raised fears that the Missouri Bridge too might fail. The bridge led directly into the Olde Towne Fenton business district. After the bridge closed, the decreased traffic led to less business for area merchants who lobbied hard to have it rebuilt.
Eighty percent of the cost of replacing the Old Gravois Bridge will be paid for by a federal grant funneled through the East-West Council of Governments (EWGCOG). Let me be very clear; without federal funding this bridge would probably not have been built, and the Olde Towne business district would have continued to decline with, one surmises, negative effects on tax revenue. So what did Todd Akin have to say at the ceremonies called to mark the beginning of this valuable federal project?:
Well there’s a lot of good news today. I guess the best good news is that there’s so much snow in Washington D.C. that it’s paralyzed. I just wish it would stay paralyzed for a couple of years – maybe we’d get caught up in spending, you know, or with what spending they want to do. … . Pray for more snow to fall in D.C. and maybe things will go better.
And the fools in the crowd, including the Fenton mayor, Dennis Hancock, clapped and laughed. As Republican chutzpah goes, this is a fairly mild – if you want to supersize the dose of hypocrisy, think about Kit Bond damning the stimulus while lobbying to get a bigger share. Nevertheless, it leaves me wondering if the “no shame, no gain” philosophy of these politicians will always also have no consequences.