Friday, September 09, 2005

Even Bush Supporters

For those that think the current criticism of the federal government's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is nothing more than liberal partisans beating up on Bush, The Moderate Voice links to a dynamite essay by the conservative TV commentator and former Congressman, oe Scarbourough. Scarbourough, who hails from Florida, knows a thing or two about hurricanes. Here are some excerpts:

First he call the President on his...umm, crap:

"...the bottom line is that despite the fact the president was strapped with two governors who bungled this crisis badly, in the end it is the president who sends in the National Guard and FEMA relief.

The president's suggestion that the size of this storm caught all by surprise just doesn't get it. His administration was 48 hours late sending in the National Guard and poor Americans got raped and killed because of those mistakes."

Then he turns to FEMA head, Michael Brown:

"FEMA’s Michael Brown also shoulders the burden for the suffering in New Orleans. His claim that no one knew of the suffering on the ground until Thursday defies logic. America knew the crescent city was drifting toward chaos on well before Tuesday. Why didn't the man in charge of disaster relief know the same thing?"

The governors of Mississippi and Louisiana don't get off easy either:

"...the first responders in any hurricane are local and state officials. When Florida was struck by four hurricanes last year, Governor Jeb Bush was nothing short of spectacular. Louisiana Governor Blanco was breathtakingly clueless as were other Louisiana officials. The deaths of many lay on their doorsteps.

One state over, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour continues to claim that Katrina caught him by surprise, telling one reporter that it was after all a cat one storm after crossing Florida. That useless fact doesn't erase the fact that the entire Gulf Coast was put on alert as early as Friday that this storm would be historic.

If Barbour thought Katrina would be little more than a category one storm, then he is not to be trusted organizing his sock drawer — let alone the most tragic natural disaster to ever hit his state."

Scarbourough's overall assessment is that government failed. People didn't die because of race or poverty, but because of ineptitude at all levels.

In the coming weeks and months, as New Orleans slowly and painfully recovers, the nation needs to ask its leaders at all levels some hard questions and demand a full accounting. We have to stop saying this is a Republican or Democratic problem. This is a national problem filled with blame all around. The people need to tell its leaders to get its act together and partisan hacks need to stop defending their leaders and work for towards a solution. Americans deserve no less.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger AlabamaDave said...

Dennis, I enjoy reading your blogs! Yours was one of the first I found when I started searching for bloggers who are progressive Republicans.

I can't help but mention that while the left has been working so hard to make the New Orleans debacle into a wedge issue about race and class status, there are/were thousands of White middle class Republicans down in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes waving from their rooftops (if they had the tools in the attic to get out) and thousands of people of all races and classes on the Mississippi coast waiting for aid.

True enough, the vast majority of the suffering faces we saw on TV in Central New Orleans were those of poor Black people. And true enough, the government response to this disaster at all levels has been abysmal and downright frightening. But that doesn't in any way mean that the pathetic response was BECAUSE the people languishing in downtown New Orleans were mostly poor and Black.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

I agree that this has been an "Equal Opportunity Screw-Up." At least they have sent Brownie to the bench.

The biggest mess in this has been the communication breakdowns. Limited telephone and cell phone service and limited internet.

Maybe in the future, the geniuses in DC will identify that they need to work with the cellular providers to find a way to get at least a rudimentary network in place quickly.

If it was you or me in that situation, the cell phone is one of the first things I would pocket. However, it does not do you any good if there are no towers in the vicinity to carry the signal.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Andy Smith said...

I think the most frustrating thing about the whole Katrina disaster is the way everything that went wrong immediatly became totally Bush's fault. I'm not saying he's not culpable, but much of the problems did originate with other's.

Dennis, I think it would be great if you could comment on Charles Krauthammer's op-ed in today's Washington Post entitled "Where to Point the Fingers". I thinks it's pretty spot on.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

Andy, you are correct and I also agree with the Krauthammer OpEd piece.

Now, for the really big question: has Brownie earned enough (ahem) Brownie Points with Dubya to be the heir apparent to Karl Rove? hehe

At 4:46 AM, Blogger Kirkrrt said...

While I agree there is plenty of blame for all elected officials, please don't forget that Gov. Blanco asked for the federal goverenment to "take over" before the storm hit. Bush signed the order declaring the gulf coast a disaster area before the storm hit. Why couldn't FEMA respond in a timely fashion?


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