Thursday, September 01, 2005
The disaster is already being politicised.
The New York Times says that Mr Bush's foreign policy is linked to the issue of how he manages these monumental problems.
"He saw up close the political damage done to his father 13 years ago this week, when the senior Mr Bush was dispatching fighter jets to maintain a no-fly zone over parts of Iraq and promoting his trade agenda while 250,000 Floridians were reeling from the impact of Hurricane Andrew," the paper says.
It isn't every day that the BBC accuses the Grey
I'd like to quote Digby here:
"This event is emblematic of Republican governance. It encompasses every f***-up they've perpetrated since they took over the entire national governament --- failure to plan, embracing only the best case scenario, lagging response, ignoring the experts, slashing funds and endless, endless happy talk that we can SEE WITH OUR OWN EYES is bullshit. (They are already saying that nobody is reporting all the "good news.")
The fact that most of these refugees (a word that I can hardly believe I'm typing) are black and poor residents who were unable to leave and were therefore, left to die, is emblematic also.
No, this is all about politics. It is about a GOP era of massive tax breaks for very rich Americans, billion dollar a week elective wars that we are losing while more and more people fall into poverty and the infrastructure of this country crumbles around our ears.
This failed experiment in free-market magical thinking can be summed up entirely by pictures of dead elderly Americans on the streets of New Orleans."
This is an unprecendented natural disaster as well as an unprecendented political failure. When I hear folks tell me not to politicize it, I hear them saying, "don't criticize the President". The President is due some serious criticism for his mishandling of this crisis, and he's going to get it.
You won't hear me criticizing the relief workers, the military, the volunteers, or, as some Republicans have done, the victims.
So, what exactly did the President do to merit criticism? Did he fail to:
a. Call up the Louisiana National Guard and post them in the city to prevent looting?
b. Ensure that all resources were used appropriately to evacuate low-lying areas before the storm hit?
c. Maintain the levee system that was supposed to protect the city from Lake Pontchartrain?
d. Sign the emergency bill passed by Congress to provide federal money for relief?
I'm sure there are other examples you have in mind, and I'd like to hear what they are. Just don't go assigning the responsibilities of governor (a), mayor (b), or levee commissions (c) to the President in your criticism. He can't do the job of every elected official at every level of government, and should not be held to account for their inaction.