Ed Driscoll

Clown Car Meets Train Crash: Left Uses Amtrak Derailment to Advance Socialist Agenda

The debris was still being cleared from last night’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, which resulted in a a reported 140 injuries and seven deaths when the left began the cries of “more infrastructure spending!” Today, as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “Hours after tragic train derailment, MSNBC ghoulishly uses it to advance a political agenda.” Because this is who they are, and that’s what they do:

In an awful tragedy, one particularly acute for New York City and Washington D.C. residents, an Amtrak train derailed on Tuesday night resulting in over 140 injuries and at least seven deaths. The bodies were still being collected when the hosts and guests of MSNBC’s Morning Joe appeared convinced that this tragedy could have been averted had the Congress passed massive spending measures aimed at repairing what Barack Obama contends is America’s “crumbling infrastructure.”

[Click over to Hot Air for the video]

In a compelling post, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg unloaded on the unfounded self-assuredness and the factually inaccurate assertions that characterized this segment. What’s more, he addressed the hideously ghoulish desire displayed this morning by these media figures to advance a political agenda on the heels of a bloody tragedy.

There’s this obsession, particularly on the East Coast, with moving lots of Americans around by train. The sophisticated Europeans do that, we should too. There’s so much know-nothingism at work here. In America we move stuff (i.e. freight) by rail and people by road (and plane). In Europe they do it the other way around. America’s freight rail system is the best in the world (which is why Warren Buffett keeps investing in it). The reasons for this arrangement have to do with population density, geography, etc. I’m not saying our passenger rail system couldn’t be better, particularly in the Northeast. But this idea that we’re falling behind China on infrastructure is ridiculous. Just because the Morning Joe crowd doesn’t care about our see the freight rail system, doesn’t mean we should obviously blow it up to turn it into a passenger rail system.

Goldberg’s post dismantled the pathology that compels partisans to insist that their pet cause would have prevented a heartbreaking disaster, even before an investigation into the incident has been conducted. These MSNBC personalities might have spared themselves quite a bit of embarrassment if they had checked NBC News’ website before launching into a diatribe loaded with familiar Democratic talking points. A source told NBC’s reporters on Wednesday morning that excessive speed, not America’s dated railway network, is most likely to blame for this tragedy.

The macabre instinct to politicize an ongoing tragedy has become a pattern for MSNBC hosts. In December of 2012, even while helicopters hovered over Sandy Hook Elementary School and ambulances raced to the scene of that horrible massacre, MSNBC host Alex Wagner consoled herself by noting that “hopefully” the shooting would provide Democrats with the “political capital” they need to pass new laws restricting gun ownership.

CNN is also quick to hop onboard this clown car, Ace writes:

Chris Cuomo has a textbook case of bias.

Previously, he’s dismissed speculating about possible terrorist involvement in murders claiming “no evidence” had yet been adduced to suggest that.

So he claimed, categorically, that it was improper to speculate about terrorist motive.

However, in the Amtrak case, without any evidence for it (and indeed mounting evidence against it) he gladly floats the speculation that allegedly low infrastructure spending was responsible for the derailment.

This is, as I say, a textbook form of bias, or, I should say, a textbook case of partisan behavior.

One important rule in any competition is this: What happens in ambiguous situations? I mean things like tie scores, but I also mean things like “What happens when replay review cannot conclusively establish what happened?”

Do you go with the original ruling, even if the replay suggests that’s wrong (while not conclusively demonstrating that)?

Because this is a breaking story, there are conflicting reports as to whether the engineer has talked to authorities after the crash. However, my colleague Stephen Kruiser spots a Philadelphia Inquirer story that claims he’s lawyered up for the upcoming investigation:

Investigators of Tuesday’s deadly Amtrak derailment say they are focusing on reports that the train was traveling more than twice the 50-mile-an-hour speed limit when it entered a sharp curve in Frankford.

An automatic train control system designed to prevent speeding was not in place where Amtrak Train 188 crashed, killing seven people and injuring more than 200.

The train’s engineer, who has not been identified, declined to give a statement to police investigators and left the East Detectives Division with an attorney, police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Wednesday.

And Stephen adds “In news that may or may not be related, a Philadelphia commuter train was struck by a projectile about twenty minutes before the Amtrak derailment and fairly close by.”

I’ll be curious to see what “projectile” ends up being. In the northeast corridor rocks being thrown at trains by vandals is a somewhat common phenomenon. (Hence the metal grills that covered many locomotive windshields operating in that region in the 1970s and ’80s.)

Related: While Twitter had many early updates on the train crash yesterday, including photos taken by passengers inside the passenger cars themselves, the desire for the mob to find fresh victims to shame resulted in this ghoulish incident that occurred immediately after the crash. As the London Daily Mail notes, “Washington National Opera violinist Jennifer Kim was among the 238 passengers” last night. She triggered the mob into full-blown BURN THE WITCH mode, when immediately after the crash, she tweeted, “thanks a lot for derailing my train. Can I please get my violin back from the 2nd car of the train?”

It’s very likely an ancient Stradivarius or similarly valuable instrument, and in any case, she was probably in shock from the crash. But the Twitter mob needs to be fed — and just as they did last week when the paper blamed Pam Geller for the Islamofascists who tried to kill her and other attendees over cartoon drawings, the London Daily Mail is blaming the victim’s actions for the Twitter mob that descended on her. Kim quickly deleted her Twitter account, adding to her stress just hours after surviving the derailment.