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Government & Politics

Hysterical Democrats Take the Exploitation Train

No, Amtrak's problems won't be solved with more money.

Robin Smith · May 18, 2015

In the case of hysterical leftists, their response to every crisis, real or manufactured, is to find the political angle that supports a statist or collectivist policy and begin the echo chamber of victimization and mass protest. The horrific Amtrak derailment is no exception.

First, the facts. Forensic examination of video footage from cameras mounted on the Amtrak passenger train shows that it inexplicably accelerated from 70 mph to 106 mph in the 65 seconds before the crash, all while heading into a turn with an authorized speed limit of 50 mph. This feat, according to Amtrak and the National Transportation Safety Board, should have been impossible due to the train’s design, which allows it to accelerate only via manual control.

Amtrak train No. 188 crashed due to the defiance of the laws of nature and, quite possibly, human error.

Oh, but ne'er a crisis should be lost as an opportunity to level political blame at those who demand accountability, transparency and results in government spending and programs.

After the Philadelphia Amtrak train met with calamity, the eight lives lost and the two hundred plus injured passengers were converted from tragic victims of a horrific accident to props in political theater.

A harsh statement? Well, let’s roll tape.

At a House Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday, only one day after the train wreck, Oregon Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio was shown blasting Republicans who he says should be “cognizant of the real world out there, of what happened last night, of what the capital needs of Amtrak are, and will not engage in short-sighted budget cutting.”

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) decried that a decision to block a $1 billion spending increase was directly responsible for the deadly incident and its victims: “Last night we failed them. We failed to invest in their safety.” This Democrat’s statement was made so early in the first responders’ rescue and recovery phase that not all the victims had yet been cleared from the wreckage.

And Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) declared, “We don’t know the connection between funding and this incident, but regardless, Amtrak needs more funding.”

Presstitutes lined up to do their part, parroting the DNC-approved narrative that “mean Republicans wouldn’t increase spending by $1 billion as requested, so people died!” (Imagine that spoken in the most dramatic, angst-filled oratory to get the full intended effect.)

News accounts attempted to tie the House Appropriations vote to the absence of a high-tech safety system — the Positive Train Control (PTC) — that theoretically would govern the Philadelphia train and override any human error or mechanical failure that could cause such a dramatic and inappropriate increase in speed.

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday evening, “Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred.” Leading the crash probe, Sumwalt was interviewed just hours after the House Appropriations Committee “voted down a Democratic amendment that would have offered $825 million for the technology known as positive train control,” according to Politico.

Ready for the fact-filled footage that didn’t make the edits?

The House Appropriations Committee only rejected a $1 billion increase, which would have almost doubled Amtrak’s annual budget from $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion. But, why, oh why, you ask, would there be any hesitation to approve such a massive increase in Amtrak spending?

According to its own records, Amtrak operated at a $1 billion loss in 2014 and $1.2 billion losses in 2012 and 2013. To Democrats and their presstitutes, billion-dollar losses each year merit more money to lose.

The NTSB showed its own reckless behavior in making erroneous and accusatory remarks. The PTC safety system is in place on the very Amtrak line where this crash occurred. Why was this advanced safety system not operational? Government regulation, of course.

The PTC operates through wireless networks requiring Federal Communications Commission approval. FCC negotiations have been ongoing since 2011 to allow Amtrak to implement this system.

Ready to anticipate the next straw-man argument? Following an investigation by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the NTSB, the FBI and other agencies, should this awful catastrophe be proven the result of human error, the Democrats will only add to their talking points. Be ready.

In addition to the lie that funding kept the safety system from being installed, the new narrative around the train’s unsafe acceleration will be that Republicans are attacking the engineer for his homosexual and pro-union activism. Funny, the only folks reporting this man’s personal life are the same ones who keep blaming funding for a system already in place but choked in Obamaland bureaucracy.

The Left rewrites the truth one social media hashtag at a time and cranks up the decibel of protest.

Mark Twain seems to capture the value Democrats place on veracity and our fellow American citizens: “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

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