I also sense a little sedition in some of the posts. Great stuff.
Here’s all of what Bay Buchanan said:
I believe Katrina has worn its welcome.She is responding to a comment by Wolf Blitzer that this administration can’t “cut a break.” Every time it does something to improve its image, something damaging happens. In this case it was Bush’s Gulf Coast photo op being trumped in the headlines by a Senate committee’s recommendation to abolish FEMA.
I think we’ve heard about it. We’ve heard about it.
The American people have responded.
The President suffered. It weakened his poll numbers.
But to suggest that somehow that this is going to continue to play against him... I think the American people are getting a little tired of it myself.
Therefore, Buchanan, representing the right, is attempting to explain away the negative news about Bush by minimizing how important Katrina is politically. She is spinning the worst natural disaster in America’s history.
Implicit in her comments is that Katrina has been dealt with. It’s over. The President can move on to the next thing, and the American people want him to move on.
You can’t spin Katrina.
Katrina has not “worn its welcome.” It never really was welcomed. And it is still definitely wearing on Gulf Coast residents.
Yes, you’ve “heard about it.” And you will keep hearing about it because Katrina isn’t over for a lot of Gulf Coast residents. Why do you think they are still talking about it on CNN?
“The American people have responded.” WTF? What is that supposed to mean? Of course they have responded. Gulf Coast residents are Americans, too. Louisiana is one of those 50 stars on the flag. So are Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.
“The President suffered. It weakened his poll numbers.” I think a few people down here can tell you a little bit about suffering. Scratch that – a lot about suffering. I guarantee you poll numbers will not be mentioned in any of their stories.
As far as “the American people are getting a little tired of it,” Tim’s tired of a few things, too:
The levees are not quite repaired back to even their pre-Katrina level. With the exception of temporary gates at the three outfall canals, no real improvements to the hurricane protection system have been made.None other than Secretary Chertoff seconds him:
If another Katrina comes this year, it will be deja vu all over again. Plaquemines: washed away. St. Bernard: a giant bathtub. New Orleans East: running water in every building. The only thing that will be different is that there will be fewer people to drown.
Mr. Sesno: But as a sort of fact of life, what do you think would actually be left of New Orleans if another Katrina hit it this year?We know what can happen. We know it can happen again. We on the Gulf Coast do not have the luxury of “getting a little tired of it.” As long as we are dealing with it, American people are dealing with it.
Secretary Chertoff: Well, I think -- obviously depending on the way in which it hit, depending on the condition of those levees that remain from last year that weren’t broken but may be weakened, I think we could have a pretty significant and bad event in New Orleans.
Mr. Sesno: Could we see what we saw all over again? Could we see New Orleans under -- I mean, why not, right?
Secretary Chertoff: I mean, I think it would -- it’s a function of how much wind, how much storm surge, to what extent does the storm surge impact those elements of the levees that may be weak that haven’t been strengthened yet. So I can’t -- I'm not an engineer, I can’t predict exactly what’s going to happen. But I can tell you there are certainly scenarios that require us to be very, very cautious about what’s going happen.
Mr. Sesno: I guess my question is, how honest are people being with the residents of New Orleans and the rest of the country, that if there’s another hurricane that’s like Katrina – and it’s right in the path, I mean, it could happen, that there is no New Orleans to talk about?
Secretary Chertoff: Well, parts of New Orleans -- I don't want to overstate it -- parts of New Orleans are above sea level, and that's kind of a different situation. But there are no -- there's no question that when you have a city which has significant parts below sea level, in the right set of bad conditions, you could suffer damage that would be comparable to what we had last year, with the exception of the fact that we have fewer people. I think we have a more mobile population, and our planning and our preparation is going to be a lot better.
But at the end of the day, you can't stop a hurricane. So if, in fact, you get a 25- or 30-foot storm surge, and it comes into the city, you're going to see some pretty serious damage.
Deal with it.