I like most Democrats and I hate to see them fail. Even the best have their failings, however. A failure of particular significance belongs to former United States Congressman, Jim Oberstar.
One might easily defend the position that Jim Oberstar‘s greatest failing was losing New Hampshire’s newest resident, Chip Cravaak, a little guy from Lindstrom, MN, but I think there is a bigger stain on Oberstar’s record.
Jim Oberstar sank the Delta Queen.
In fact this is the rare — possibly only — opportunity for me to link with Katherine Kersten, the StarTribune‘s on-staff xenophobe bigot. Kersten called out Oberstar for his errors as chair of the House Transportation Committee the prevented a hearing on a bill that would have exempted the Delta Queen from updated Coast Guard regulations governing passenger vessels.
The Delta Queen isn’t deemed seaworthy under these regulations because it is a mostly wooden structure. Oberstar claimed he was protecting the public from a fire trap by blocking legislation that would have kept the boat on the river.
Pish posh. In today’s world, we don’t care about federal law, we go around it. Oberstar, old pedant that he is, did not see the future. And now that we are here in the future, let’s turn things around. With the “free market” Republicans in office, perhaps we can lift some of this burdensome government interference from the hardworking riverboat people and get the Delta Queen sailing again!
This is Chip Cravaaks’ opportunity to roll back a liberal mistake and save Minnesota — and the country — from his predecessor’s misguided legacy. That’s the great conservative promise, is it not? Well…here you go!
Alas, it might not be that easy. First of all, Cravaak would have to do something — you know, write a bill — and good luck with that. He probably thinks the Delta Queen is a twisty cone franchise anyway.
More importantly, the Delta Queen is tied up to a dock in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it is set up as a floating hotel and party facility. It is sad to see any boat condemned to perpetual dock service. It is even worse when that second life fails to pay the bills. The old Delta Queen isn’t quite right tied to the dock. So while we might hope that the free market Republicans might do for the Delta Queen what Jesse did for Willy the killer whale and set that boat free!…well, don’t hold your breath.
A group formed to save the Delta Queen and get it back on the river, but I haven’t received email from them in months.
This is a rare opportunity for conservative principles of less government to coincide with a worthy cause. For my part I would like to see a conservative success for which we can all be proud. Why not? So let’s get that river boat rolling!