I can often be found on twitter praising political compromise. Generally speaking, I think it's a good thing when politicians with very different constituencies can come together and settle their differences on mutually agreeable terms.
Having said that, every so often a political leader does or says something so egregious that it makes me think compromise isn't a laudable goal. Today, President Obama flat-out lied about the 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people.
"According to the Republican budget that was passed, for example, we would have to eliminate transportation funding by a third," Obama told a townhall meeting in Annandale, Va., today.
"We’d have to cut transporting funding by a third," said Obama. "You remember when that bridge in Minnesota collapsed with all those people on it? And there was a big hue and cry: How can this happen in America? Well, the National Society of Engineers, they’ve looked around and they give us a 'D' when it comes to infrastructure. Our roads, our bridges, our sewer systems are all deteriorating.
It's a pretty easy storyline to sell, right? After all, Republican budget cuts will undoubtedly affect how much money our country spends on infrastructure. So what's the problem? It's completely false.
In a 2008 report on the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states:
“The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the inadequate load capacity, due to a design error.”
The NTSB concluded that the collapse was not the result of a lack of maintenance, as the President asserted, but rather a design flaw.
That leaves us pondering two explanations: 1. Obama doesn't know the truth about the bridge collapse or 2. He lied.
I honestly don’t know which explanation I find more distressing. Is it worse if our President doesn’t understand what our budget is and is not responsible for? Or, that he is so determined to protect his bloated bureaucracy that he can’t tell the truth about our budget problems?