Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Bush

A view of Canal Street that is flooded with water in New Orleans August 30, 2005. REUTERS, Rick Wilking

"We have got a lot of work to do."

—President Bush, Coronado, CA, August 30, 2005,CNN

Bush goes back to Washington, D.C., where he will cut short his vacation in order to do, in his words, the “hard job” of the US presidency. He’s abandoning Crawford early because the extensive damage of Hurricane Katrina demands his attention of who gets what federal aid and when.

“When” is the big question of why Bush was in San Diego today giving a speech “commemorating the Allies' World War II victory over Japan and promoting his war-on-terror agenda”, instead of plowing head long into the main task at hand, one which the entire country agrees is the priority--hurricane aid and repair.

To state the obvious, unlike the terrible tsunami disaster and other major catastrophic events including earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, hurricanes come with a long lead time of warning. Katrina, in particular, was a building monster that for the better part of 3 days prior to its landfall in the Gulf States, was clearly going to cause major problems. Bush certainly knew this, and yet while The National Guard and Red Cross are performing life-threatening missions to save lives today, Bush is out here in La La land trumping up his ridiculous Medicare card that no one understands, let alone will benefit from financially, and trumpeting up the War in Iraq despite the majority of the citizens against the effort altogether.

That’s real compassionate conservatism—just kidding. It’s more like psychotic disconnection, and while I’m not qualified to make that judgment call, it’s nicer than a lot of things I could have said.

One last thought—“John in DC” on “AmericaBlog” expresses it best:

If your aides claim, and I'm sure they will, that you didn't need to come back to DC this past weekend to help coordinate hurricane relief. Why? Because they'll say that you have all of this state-of-the-art communications technology at your Crawford ranch, so being at Crawford is the SAME as being at the White House.

So, if all that's the case, then why is the White House now telling us that you're cutting your vacation short tomorrow to come back to Washington and deal with the hurricane? I thought you were dealing with it just fine while on vacation?

Either you can manage hurricane relief sufficiently while on vacation, and in that case there's no need for you to return to DC tomorrow, or you can't, and in that case where the hell have you been the past 5 days?

So which one is it, Mr. President? Are you now admitting that you made a mistake by remaining on vacation and thinking you could handle hurricane relief from your deck chair by the pool?—AmericaBlog August 30, 2005

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