Saturday, April 29, 2006

Did I Miss Anyone?

So far I’ve got Suspect Device (twice), Ashley, Oyster, Seymour D. Fair, 2millionth, Markus, Loki, Ray in Austin, Lady Morwen, and Tim. Good stuff.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
None other than Secretary Chertoff seconds him:
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?

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.
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.

Deal with it.


Michael said...

Sorry I missed this till today--I've been a little busy at home & work...

Great post--you underscore the emphasis on "politics" in the administration. And while I'm not so naiive to think that politicians aren't going to be, well, political, you'd think there'd also be at least a veneer of public service/obligation...

Not that I'm a real fan of JFK, but in either his nomination or inaugural address, he made some mention of the office's responsibility to handle the "unfinished public business of the nation" or words to that effect. Um, yes. And that makes Buchanan's dismissal of the flood/storm all the more galling--especially in light of the wholesale giveaways of public funds to entities like Halliburton...

Interestingly enough, the administration is adopting a similar approach to Iraq, now that it's pretty clearly a giant mess. Ignore it, hope the public forgets it...which is a strange way of honoring US casualties, and an even stranger way of trying to convince Iraqis we're working in their interest (well, let's be real: I think the Iraqis are pretty much beyond convincing at this point).

Well, anyway, thanks for writing what you did...

Tim said...

Yoohoo! I'm in agreement with Chertoff! 8-<

I'm so proud I think I'm going to puke. 8-o****



da po' boy said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to make you emotipuke. I was just pointing out that he is operating his department under the same assumptions, which means you too could be DHS Secretary!

Tim said...

...and I'd be a damn good one, too!

But then I would have to work in DC. Nevermind!