The guys in power now are the ideological heirs of Henry Kissinger, who wanted to stay in Vietnam not because we were doing ourselves (or anyone else) any good there, but because leaving would make us look like "a pitiful, helpless giant". Now, the world sees a country letting its own citizens die on camera, after days in heat without food or water that could have easily been airdropped, unable or unwilling to assist. How do we look now, cocksuckers?
They set up feeding stands at the airport for Dubya's visit, and got a lot of construction equipment out to the levee breaches, then rolled it all away when the cameras left. If Karl Rove hadn't done that in real life, The Onion would not dare make it up. He has more imagination, and less shame.
Dubya himself is on record as saying that the initial response was inadequate. Am I being too partisan if I repeat his words, guys?
The Feds aren't letting in assistance which has already been offered by many, domestic and foreign. A common excuse from the Feds is that the local government has not requested the assistance. But they did. Before the storm even hit.
Hanlon's razor says that you shouldn't attribute to malice what is adequately explained by mere incompetence. And what we have here goes well beyond "mere" incompetence. Your head of FEMA got fired amid scandal from his last job --- as head of the International Arabian Horse Association. But the same guy still managed to preposition an extensive hurricane response for a couple of hurricanes last year --- in Florida, where the people on the storm track had a significantly higher chance of voting Republican. No storm god produced the chaos this time. The beings responsible are tangible and mundane, and they live in Washington, D.C.
Fox News reporters on the scene reported that troops at the Convention Center were preventing people from leaving the horrible scene there, and that people trying to simply walk out of the city were being turned back by armed troops on the highways. As offers of assistance were refused and the Red Cross itself was being kept out.
So, what's up with that? Some local officials are blaming fear of the refugees --- a fear evident in the much-blogged Army Times article which refers to stranded New Orleans residents as "the insurgency" and anticipates "combat operations" against them. But it's not just at the Federal level --- they're also saying the Louisiana state government, and Governor Blanco in particular, don't want a horde of black refugees streaming into white neighborhoods. I can believe it.
Happy, guys? I just criticized a Democrat.
Why talk about politics when people are dying? Because political choices made in the past are what's killing them.
More: Read the transcript of today's Meet The Press. After the President of Jefferson Parish breaks down in tears talking about one of his officials whose mother drowned on Friday, the Republican governor of Mississippi praises the Coast Guard for their rapid response to the needs of his people. "Over here, we had the Coast Guard in Monday night". But I shouldn't be talking about that. This isn't the time to play politics.