Nick Coleman's Minneapolis Star Tribune column is particularly bad today. Coleman complains that Governor Pawlenty had a single day of inaugural festivities (scaled back from a week for previous inaugurations). He also complains about the national day of mourning for President Ford. In one column, he manages to trot out a laundry list of complaints about Pawlenty, and even gets in a dig at Ford's pardon of his White House predecessor (haven't heard about the pardon in the past few days, have we?).
The typical Coleman touch is to juxtapose his criticism of the high and mighty with an interview with a lowly victim. In one recent column, we read how Coleman was thwarted in interviewing someone at Roosevelt High School to get their reaction to the closing of a nearby public library. For the Ford/Pawlenty bashing, he had easy access to victims in the street across from the inaugural ceremonies.
Gerald Ford had been dead eight days and was on his second or third funeral yesterday, but it still was necessary that government offices be closed (for the third day in a row). This presented a hardship for people such as Shanna Brinkley, who zeroed out her bus card to bring her 6-week-old baby, Nyasia, to the doctor and was hoping her mother would come pick her up because no bus cards for poor were available, out of respect to a dead president.
"People have things to do," she said with frustration, hugging her baby in a blanket, waiting for her ride across Wabasha Street from Palm Tuesday at the Fitz. "The government ought to do better. This is messed up."Ford shouldn't have pardoned Nixon," a former bus driver named William McMillan said. "If a poor person steals anything, he goes to jail. Nixon stole the White House, but he got pardoned."
I think there is a column to be written about Shanna Brinkley, but not the one Coleman wrote. Federal offices are closed to mourn the loss of a president (what a raw deal for Brinkley that someone died). Are bus cards ONLY available from the federal government? Are they ONLY available on the first day of the month? But for that stinker Ford dying and making Shanna's life difficult, she would have gotten free bus fare on time?