I mostly agree-from a friend of mine
And now, over one week later as the water starts to recede in New Orleans, it IS time bring politics into this. Or, more accurately, it’s time to bring the utter ineptitude of this administration to light, once and for all. (Unfortunately, for those that suffered and died as a result of this, perhaps it’s too late.) To start…PlanningThis country has known for YEARS about the potential catastrophic consequences should last week’s scenario play out. In fact, I myself recall reading a news item about this very scenario two or three years ago!
Nothing was done to plan for or prevent it.Now, let’s be honest and fair. The fact that nothing was done does not fall on this administration alone. The fact that this could happen has been well known for decades, and no administration successfully planned for it. Furthermore, there have been arguments over the last week about funding dedicated to levee fortification for the Army Corps of Engineers that was instead appropriated to the war in Iraq.
This money, had it even been spent wisely, would likely not have materialized in time to stop this…that’s just the nature of government spending.HOWEVER…Over a week ago, when the hurricane passed through Florida and began its approach to the Louisiana-Mississippi coastline, meteorologists began predicting a possible New Orleans landfall as early as Thursday. It eventually struck the coast on Monday morning. Knowing the potential devastation of this storm as it progressed, grew, and marched toward southeast Louisiana – a scenario that has been modeled and forecast for years – the President did virtually NOTHING to prepare and oversee federally funded relief and rescue efforts. Instead he vacationed, and continued to do so until TWO days after the storm hit.
At which point, he delivered a feel-good speech that help was on the way. Only it wasn’t…not yet.ExecutionOne of the crucial roles of a President and his administration is, in times of national crisis, to manage response and make sure that problems are resolved. It doesn’t matter what kind of bureaucracy may be in the way – you’re the President of the United States, the so-called leader of the Free World, the highest in the chain of command – when it comes to matters of national security, you get things done. Wednesday, two days after the storm hit, we finally heard from the President, saying everything would be okay. Only, help would not arrive for several more days.
This is inexcusable, and a complete collapse of government responsibility. From what I’ve read and heard, when the tsunami hit Southeast Asia public order was restored in 24-48 hours in all of the countries affected. Many of those countries were third world countries. In the United States, supposedly the richest and most powerful country on the planet, our government was not able to restore some semblance of order after the hurricane until this past weekend, nearly five days later. This is utterly inexcusable, not to mention disgraceful. And the blame can only be placed on one person: President Bush. He, and only he, had the ultimate power to make things happen and make things right, and is always the case, he failed miserably.
But why didn’t things get done? Why were people trapped in their houses for over a week? There can be but one, undeniable reason…
Yes, I am going here. Call me a ridiculous radical, call me completely full of it, call me whatever you’d like, but…Even the staunchest of conservatives cannot deny the fact that if this disaster had instead affected a group of wealthy, god-fearing, white people (perhaps Kennebunkport, ME), this administration would have responded with a fervor never before seen in the history of this country. Okay, I’ll correct myself…the staunchest of conservatives can deny that -- they deny everything as long as it’s convenient.Regardless, the majority of people who stuck it out in New Orleans were those who were unable to afford a way out: the lower class. Certainly, we’re not speaking of this administration’s self-proclaimed “base.” And as such, while they were suffering through hellish, unthinkable conditions, the President was finishing up his vacation and making unfounded promises of support. After all, he’d already spent four years neglecting this particular group of society and still gained re-election, so what did he have to lose now!
***And so, I once again must reiterate, this government is an absolute travesty.
The conservatives that read this far will make excuses as to why this all happened and why I’m just a whining, pinko, communist liberal. But rest assured there are no excuses for what happened this week. It was entirely inexcusable. And once the dead have been counted and the final damage evaluations have been compiled, that fact will become undeniably clear.
--Tim, from AV&H