Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Comment of the Day

It seems to me that if the feds have no role in disaster relief, as some conservatives have been arguing, then FEMA should be disbanded. In fact, if the feds have no role in disaster relief, then I'd argue the whole Department of Homeland Security ought to be disbanded... since its primary purpose is supposedly disaster prevention (natural and man-made) and relief.

-From frequent commentor, Brian.


At 2:48 PM, Blogger Michael Cummins said...

I can't recall anyone ever saying that the feds have no role in disaster relief, only that it is their job to come in afterwards, with permission from the governor, and take the load as directed.

In the case of Katrina, the local government completely screwed the pooch, and then FEMA followed that up by not having a plan to start with less than zero. Compound that with a governor whose response to Bush's "hey, pass me the ball here before this thing hits" was to hire a former Clinton official the next day and refuse to play.

The Local Government really screwed this up and the current incarnation of FEMA didn't improve the situation at all.

Once the mistakes were exposed for all to see the partisan roll call began.

FEMA has an important role in disaster recover, but so does the local government. I think that this catastrophe will question the efficiency of federalism in today's world of instant gratification and communication.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Michael, I agree that responsibility for the magnitude of the disaster is not strictly limited to the feds (though I have read some hardline commentators denying the feds should have any role in disaster relief as a way to deflect criticism away from Bush).

I think your last comment gets to the crux of the issue: when a massive (not garden variety) crisis hits, what should the relationship be between federal, state and local governments?


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