With the Dreamliner finally up in the air, one could almost forget the unending controversy swirling in Boeing's turbines.
Next time Murray has to go south of the Mason-Dixon, she might want to take those burly dudes with her.
First there's that little move to South Carolina planned to actually build the Dreamliner. But also back in the news is the battle over building tankers for the Air Force. Sen. Patty Murray, up for election next year, has been a driving force behind Boeing's protest of the military's initial decision to award the contract to Northrop Grumman. All Things Considered did a story last week on Northrop's attempts to put pressure on the feds that included an interview with Murray where she managed to insult the entire state of Alabama.
Northrop planned to build the tankers at an assembly line in the southern state, which Murray says is a mistake.
Quoth Murray: "I have stood on the line in Everett, Wash., where we have thousands of workers who go to work every day to build these planes. I would challenge anybody to tell me that they've stood on a line in Alabama and seen anybody building anything."
Turns out the people in 'Bama who do, ya know, build stuff, took a little umbrage at that remark. Over the last few days, Web sites (turns out they have the internet in the South too, who knew?) have lit up like Christmas trees with insults targeting the senior senator from Washington.
* Blogger Fair Justice calls Murray a "piece of shit" saying: "I build parts for automobiles everyday and this is no easy task. .... You continue to sit on your ass in Washington while hard workers in ALABAMA watch their hard earned money be cut from their paychecks by the IRS to pay people just like you to sit on their ass and do nothing all day."
* Kristopher V. is a little more charitable, saying he respects Murray's work on behalf of Washington state, but "I believe she does owe Alabamians an apology."
* Greg Richter posted an unflattering photo of Murray on the Birmingham News blog with the caption: "Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, unaware anyone makes anything in Alabama."
* Governor Bob Riley sent out a statement with a bit of a backhand: "Surely Senator Murray was just misquoted because it would be absolutely absurd for anyone to say something so ridiculous. Alabama is, after all, the home of automobile plants, aerospace and defense companies, the rocket that took man to the moon, and many of the same companies that Senator Murray represents."
* Mooncat at Left in Alabama ("left" meaning Democrat) really gets to the ugly heart of Washington's fight to keep manufacturing in state: the vicious and wrong assumption that being southern makes you dumb and incompetent. "As a supposed champion for average Americans, Murray should have checked her facts before spouting what any educated person would realize was nonsense -- and insulting, stereotypical nonsense, at that. We're not still chopping cotton down here, Senator, barefoot and illiterate," Mooncat writes.
Good thing she doesn't have to campaign down there--and I'd avoid any sports bars in town when the Crimson Tide are playing, just in case.