Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wearing out Welcome

Ouch. (The following links are rated between PG-13 and R for good language.)

Picked this up today reading Humid City, Suspect Device and Third Battle of New Orleans.

Bay Buchannan, discussing how the Bush administration is politically affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, spake these words:

"I believe that Katrina has worn its welcome. We've heard about it, we've heard about it, the American people responded, the President suffered, it weakened [Bush's] poll numbers, but to suggest that somehow this is going to continue to play against him, I think the American people are getting a little tired of it, myself."

You can see the CNN video here if you don't believe me.

The American people are tired of hearing about Katrina? More specifically the way the Administration dropped the ball during the disaster? Do Gulf Coast residents not count as Americans anymore?

What makes me really angry is the bandwagon marketing technique she's using to spin this and the attitude she uses with it < valley*girl*voiceover >: 'Americans have moved on from the whole (quote fingers) Katrina thing (quote fingers),' 'oh, that Katrina thing was, like, sooo last year,' 'are you still talking about that Katrina thing, booorring.'

Well, I am one American person who cares a whole hell of a lot about the whole 'Katrina' issue, and my voice and my votes are going to reflect that.

5 comments:

Fishplate said...

Everybody dropped the ball on Katrina. The Imperial Federal Government ceertainly can share some of the blame.

But to lay the entire blame for this fiasco at the feet of Geroge Bush is disingenuous at best.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Thank you for bringing that up, by the way....

Don't worry, I'm all about sharing the blame. We all saw the busses parked in New Orleans civic lots four blocks from the SuperDome. We all saw what happens when bad buraucrats attack. We all saw what happens when almost every instrument of decision-making government is asleep at the wheel, waiting for someone else to make a decision. We all saw that we don't have a Rudy Giuliani in every city or state to start kicking ass and taking names and taking charge when the proverbial poo hits the proverbial fan. And we've all seen that the blame game is just a continuation of folks who don't know what they're doing not knowing what they are doing.

But Bay Buchannan wasn't talking about those other folks, she was talking about, quite specifically, about not blaming one guy, and the buck stops on that one guy's desk. Sorry if I can't help but ascribe a higher share of blame to that man's desk. In a bureaucracy, the only way to get things working is when the guy at the top starts telling folks below what to do. It don't work the other way around.

Dante said...

"Well, I am one American person who cares a whole hell of a lot about the whole 'Katrina' issue, and my voice and my votes are going to reflect that."

Pat, don't you have family in Louisiana? Of course you're still going to care. Folks who aren't directly involved or who don't have an axe to grind with Bush, Nagin, etc. are getting tired of it. It's just like any other news story that's overstayed its welcome.

"In a bureaucracy, the only way to get things working is when the guy at the top starts telling folks below what to do. It don't work the other way around."

Right, and in our wonderful federalist society, the "guy" at the top in this situation is the governor of Louisiana. That's the person who the voters of Louisiana put in charge to wield executive power in that state.

Patrick Armstrong said...

I absolutely have family there, and yes, that does make this a little personal to me.

But even if that wasn't the case, I also care because of the reasons many other Americans continue to care. I live about 2,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, so hurricane response at all levels is a pretty big concern to me. I also pay taxes that could be lessened by effective hurricane response, especially at the Federal level. I also use gasoline to power my car, and a great deal of gasoline America currently uses is offloaded as sweet light crude oil and refined in Louisiana. I also like to eat bread and other delicious foods produced by farmers in the midwest. I don't know if all those delicious foods travel on barges or boats down the Ohio, Missouri or Mississippi Rivers - but a whole lot of food does for one reason or another, and plenty of that trade is also processed through the Port of New Orleans. Ditto a bunch of raw materials.

So, Katrina, and the response to it at all levels (including Federal) affects me strategically more than even a Floyd or Andrew.

Those are but a few other reasons I'm not going to get tired of this.

In addition to those reasons, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are not organizations headed by political appointees of the Governor of Louisiana. The US Army Corps of Engineers, while broken into jurisdictions, is funded -at least in part - by the Federal budget and that budget is overseen by a Republican Congress.

Add to all of this the fact that I cannot personally hold officials of Louisiana responsible for this at the voting booth, I can express my displeasure with the above grievances with our officials on a Federal level.

Dante said...

"the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are not organizations headed by political appointees of the Governor of Louisiana."

You are correct, but FEMA does not go around waiting for an area to be declared a federal disaster area before they show up to provide relief. They must however wait for the state to request help before they arrive to give that help. I suppose that the President could order FEMA to provide relief before it is requested by the state but that's not the way it's supposed to operate.

Aside from a gas shortage that should never been a shortage and a moderate spike in gasoline prices, I'm surprised you even mentioned those other concerns. America still got its food from the midwest and somehow the civilized world got by despite the ports in New Orleans being closed. If anything, hurricaine response was a success from those standpoints.