05 August 2007

keith ellison & minneapolis, minnesota bridge collapse

By Captain Eric H. May

Wednesday afternoon could have added even more woes to the White House. America's first and only Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, appeared on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to discuss some scorching anti-Bush comments he had made on July 8 to constituents in Minneapolis, in which he had compared 9/11 to the Reichstag Fire, and George Bush to Adolph Hitler. In 1933 Hitler used the Reichstag Fire, carried out under his orders, to establish a dictatorship in Germany.

Ellison's analysis is accepted by most of the Muslim world, much of the non-Muslim world, and a growing minority of Americans. Rather than defend it, though, Ellison backed down with apologies in his interview with Blitzer, saying that his remarks were a "rookie mistake," never to be repeated.

Perhaps Ellison's retreat from his remarks was an attempt to stave off the disaster that frequently befalls those who disrupt the political paradigm. If so, it didn't work. Two hours after Ellison's mea culpa, his congressional district suffered a freak disaster with the collapse of the I-35 bridge into the Mississippi River.

One man's loss is another's gain, though. In the news, the collapse of the Minneapolis bridge supplanted the collapse of the al-Maliki government and the Bush White House for the rest of Wednesday..., then Thursday..., then Friday. By Saturday the congressman who had accused the unitary executive of treason was with Bush himself, taking a tour of his afflicted district, and begging for the relief of federal funds.
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Captain May is a former Army military intelligence and public affairs officer, as well as a former NBC editorial writer. His political and military analyses have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle and Military Intelligence Magazine.