Thursday, September 08, 2005

Eulogy For The American Dream 

Josh Marshall has put up a really fine Katrina event timeline, and invites contributions/corrections. He also notes the information shutdown on NOLA being engineered by FEMA, and comes to this conclusion:
"Take a moment to note what's happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn't get key aid on the scene in time last week is coming in in force now. And one of the key missions appears to be cutting off public information about what's happening in the city.
This is a domestic, natural disaster. Absent specific cases where members of the press would interfere or get in the way of some particular clean up operation, or perhaps demolition work, there is simply no reason why credentialed members of the press should not be able to cover everything that is happening in that city.
Think about it."
Well, a certain core group of people in the country aren't thinking about it at all, and thanks to the news blackout underway, they probably won't have to. Editor & Publisher reveals this, from a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released yesterday:
"While 42% of respondents characterized Bush's response to the disaster as bad or terrible, 35% said it was good or great. Federal agencies got exactly the same marks. State and local officials fared only a little better--their response was described as bad or terrible by 35% and good or great by 37%.
Again, the views were strongly based on partisan leanings, with Republicans giving the president good grades on this issue by a 69% to 10% margin, while Democrats' views were precisely the opposite. But independents gave Bush a thumbs down by 47% to 29%.
Asked who was MOST responsible for the post-hurricane problems, 13% picked Bush, 18% said federal agencies, 25% selected state/local officials and 38% said no one was to blame.
Asked if top officials in federal agencies responsible for emergencies should be fired, 29% said yes, and 63% no. "
You read it right. "35% said it was good or great", and "38% said no one was to blame"! H.L. Mencken once said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, and P.T. Barnum said there was a sucker was born every minute, but neither of them may have ever fully grasped the utter meanness, domestic xenophobia, and fear-and-hate-fueled cruelty that currently underlays the American character. I used to think such people were the minority.

I know, now, that they are exactly who America is.

Originally posted at IMCT.

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