Tarry for the Nonce

September 12, 2005

It Just Gets Old

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 9:53 am

While not a fan of Bush (nor, alas, Brit Hume) Cathy Young offers a reasonable defense:

The political gamesmanship in Katrina’s wake hasn’t cost any lives — but it has been repulsive nonetheless. While people were dying or trapped in hellish conditions, many on the left jumped with an indecent glee at the opportunity to blast their Great Satan, President Bush, and his evil reign . . .

Never mind that no serious scientist believes Hurricane Katrina was related to global warming, that there were plenty of troops in nearby areas, they just didn’t get to the scene fast enough, or that, according to The Washington Post, flood control projects in New Orleans have received more money per year under the Bush administration than under Clinton . . .

Never mind that Bush, who has hiked domestic discretionary spending by 25 percent, is no more a small-government conservative than Bill Clinton was a socialist. And never mind that there was ample federal money going to Army Corps of Engineers projects in Louisiana, except that a lot of it went to costly boondoggles . . .

There is no question that poverty played a large role in the survivors’ plight, or that there is still a strong linkage between race and class in America. But the leap from that to the charge of racism is irresponsible, to say the least.

For all the well-deserved criticism, let’s not forget that on Aug. 28, Bush personally called Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to urge a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. And let’s not forget that the relief effort has been just as inadequate in predominantly white areas struck by the hurricane, such as Biloxi, Miss . . .

And yes, if it were Kerry in the White House, the haters on the right would have been just as bad. That’s cold comfort to those who would like to see human lives put before politics.

And before lining one’s pockets. Despite all the human suffering, Michael Moore is figuring out the best way to use the tragedy for his own personal benefit:

Michael Moore is said to be “seriously considering” making a documentary based on President Bush’s handling of the Katrina rescue operation . . .

A source close to the controversial film-maker said: “It has all the elements that made Fahrenheit 911 such a powerful film, the political outrage, the human suffering, and the incredible footage.”

In a statement on his website, Moore said: “There is much to be said and done about the man-made annihilation of New Orleans, caused not by a hurricane but by the very specific decisions made by the Bush administration in the past four and a half years.

Funny. Most reliable media report that there was indeed a hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast. Moreover, the filmmaker conveniently bypasses the Democratic mayor, Democratic governor, and Democratic state to focus his vitriol for his own personal vendetta. Moore will conspiracy-monger for profit. Because that’s what he does.

It’s pathetic.

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2 Comments

  1. according to The Washington Post, flood control projects in New Orleans have received more money per year under the Bush administration than under Clinton…

    Awesome…Laura, you WrOcK!

    Comment by Andrew P. — September 12, 2005 @ 11:26 am

  2. The Economist has this issue on their cover and the most interesting thing that they had to say was that funding for New Orleans’ levees actually began falling not with the Bush administration, but when longtime Louisiana congressman Bob Livingston left the House – where he was a longtime member of the Appropriations Committee.

    That sounds like an incredibly plausible answer to me. When a local boy has partial control over the national purse strings, it makes sense that his projects would take priority, and when he leaves, they don’t.

    I really don’t know what to think of this mess. I think it does have a lot to do with race and class, which are still somewhat strongly correlated in this country (e.g. if you are black, you are much more likely to be poor), but what bothers me is something I see in many of this country’s policies, which is that they are conceived by upper and upper middle class individuals who don’t fully ponder the human effects up and down the socioeconomic spectrum, because they don’t live in or understand those worlds. The people who couldn’t evacuate were overwhelmingly the least among us – poor, elderly, disabled, or all of the above – and the evacuation plans didn’t account for the fact that those people composed fully 20% of the population. It’s sad and I hope this serves as a wakeup call.

    It also does make you appreciate how comparatively well-run New York City is.

    Comment by Matt — September 12, 2005 @ 5:39 pm


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