Tone-Deaf And Dumb

7 comments September 9th, 2005at 10:35pm Posted by Eli

Some more thoughts on the Katrina aftermath:

I understand the Republican strategy (which I just freudianly mistyped as “tragedy”) of trying to shift all responsibility to the Democratic state and local government. It’s craven and morally bankrupt, but Not Owning Your Fuck-Up is basic self-preservation, and is what passes for admirable behavior among politicians in general, and Republican politicians in particular. But it also looks like there is a remarkable lack of compassion for the victims among the Bushies, and outright hostility towards them by the right-wing pundits.

To recap the examples I can remember (with help from Atrios), in no particular order:

  • After remaining on vacation for a few days after the hurricane hits, Bush finally shows up and reminisces about the great partying he had in New Orleans in his younger days, talks about sitting on the great new porch Trent Lott is going to have, and tells “Brownie” that he’s doing a heck of a job. Meanwhile, Cheney is fishing and Condi is shopping and having her Grand Day Out at Spamalot and Ferragamo.
  • Barbara Bush expresses her fear of Texas being overrun by those uncouth refugees, and chuckles about what a sweet deal this Astrodome gig is for them. Tom DeLay compares it to summer camp and suggests that it’s “kind of fun.”
  • Baton Rouge Republican Representative Richard Baker expresses gratitude that God has “finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans.”

The thing here is, even if the Republicans somehow manage to succeed in diverting accountability away from the head of our entire government, that still doesn’t erase the impression that Bush and the Republicans very clearly DID NOT GIVE A FUCK. An entire American city gone, thousands dead, and Bush and his Republican cronies display absolutely zero awareness of or interest in the seriousness of the situation in any terms other than the purely political. Even if non-wingnuts can overlook or forgive incompetence, especially if it’s incompetence by proxy, can they overlook or forgive this kind of moral and spiritual vacuum?

Indeed, his choice of FEMA appointments suggests that he doesn’t much care about disaster preparedness at all. Perhaps he was counting on the next catastrophe to be the terrorist attack he’s been inviting, where wholesale casualties would give him a chance to once again wrap himself in the War-Preznit flag and bully everyone into “rallying around the president” again, as he invades Iran or Syria or Venezuela or Bhutan.

As I have said before in other venues, I think BushCo. really thought that the rest of America, or at least the Republican base, would care as little about the deaths and displacement of hundreds of thousands of poor and black people as they do (hey, it’s not like anyone important died, right?). I desperately hope that they’re wrong.

Another thing that seriously disturbs me about the administration’s response is the gratuitous, selfish phoniness of it, where valuable resources were diverted from relief efforts for the sole purpose of making the president look good. A fake levee repair effort was started and then swiftly abandoned after Bush posed with it. 50 of the 1,000 firemen who came to New Orleans from all over the country to help were assigned to stand-behind-the-president-so-he-can-bask-in-
your-reflected-9/11-glory duty as he toured the disaster area.

Yes, it’s appalling that the administration spinmeisters are this callous, but we already knew that. What’s chilling is that they’re this arrogant. They had to know that this sort of callousness would be absolutely devastating if it were widely reported, which means that they also knew that it would not be widely reported. This country is in serious trouble if they are right.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Favorites,Katrina,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. Anonymous  |  September 9th, 2005 at 11:42 pm

    You are an idiot.

    It is a FACT that the STATE AND LOCAL Government are the FIRST responders to ANY disaster of this type.

    IF the local government had done its job with evacuations BEFORE the hurricane the state of affairs in NO would be a much different story.

    The governor of LA had 6,000 national guardsmen at her beck and call, where were they? Those guardsmen did NOT arrive in force until 3 days AFTER the event.

    It is unrealisitic to expect the federal government to be the first response to a situation like this because;

    a) State and Local resources are so much closer to the affected area.

    b) The Federal Government must wait for an INVITATION from the state authority to move those types of assets into the state.

    The FACT is the governor of LA, was OFFERED federal military aid only HOURS after the tragedy, and replied that she would have to think about it for 24 hours. That is 24 hours that the people of her state were suffering.

    The FACTS show, that although the reaction of the federal government may have indeed been slow, it is the STATE and LOCAL governments resposibility to stabilize their regions after any major disaster.

    Now leftists like you would complain if the Federal government had replied instantly and flooded the streets with soldiers, I can almost hear the screeching cries of “police State” “Fascists, forcing people from their homes! Arresting people for takingfood for their families”

    It is sad that people like you will not analyze the truth of an issue before spewing your left wing ichor across the universe.

  • 2. Eli  |  September 9th, 2005 at 11:53 pm

    Do you have an answer to my primary point, the one about Bush & the Republicans’ staggering insensitivity to human suffering?

  • 3. The Heretik  |  September 10th, 2005 at 1:28 pm

    Gee, anonymous, you are certainly very brave with your FACTS without a FACE.
    Um from the DHS Emergency and Disaster Homepage

    In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America’s families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.

    Ichor? (I’-kor). The colorless blood of the heathen deities. Love that. Must use that when needed. Please continue on with your brave commentary, anonymous. Thanks.

  • 4. Anonymous  |  September 10th, 2005 at 8:49 pm

    No, Anonymous there is the idiot. And, of course, wrong. This was a predictable disaster, and one beyond the scope of local and state responders which is why the federal disaster response guidelines clearly make large scale events of this type the primary responsibility of the Feds. This is the garbage the Republican machine was spewwing last week, and it’s just wrong.

    And is there any excuse for ignoring the convention center and not getting aid, transportation, food and security there faster? Brownie’s claim they didn’t know about it was evidence of massive incompetence.

    Bush has to take responsibility for placing an obvious incompetent in charge of FEMA; what a crime that is.

  • 5. Eli  |  September 10th, 2005 at 9:00 pm

    Not just predictable, but *predicted*.

  • 6. scout prime  |  September 11th, 2005 at 1:35 am

    Eli you nailed especially on the arrogance. But this time the media did their kob and that messed them up

  • 7. scout prime  |  September 11th, 2005 at 1:35 am

    Whoa that was some bad spelling…Sorry

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