Friday, September 16, 2005

Fool Me Once 

According to the Grey Lady,
President Bush said three things last night that desperately needed to be said. He forthrightly acknowledged his responsibility for the egregious mishandling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He spoke clearly and candidly about race and poverty. And finally, he was clear about what would be needed to bring back the Gulf Coast and said the federal government would have to lead and pay for that effort.

Really? Let's go to the tape:

"Forthrightly acknowleg[ing] his responsibility":
I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority. And therefore, I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to undertake an immediate review, in cooperation with local counterparts, of emergency plans in every major city in America. I also want to know all the facts about the government response to Hurricane Katrina. The storm involved a massive flood, a major supply and security operation, and an evacuation order affecting more than a million people.

Translation: I didn't do it.

"Speaking clearly and candidly about race":
That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America.
Translation: It was broke when I got here.

What needs to be done:
And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely.

Translation: Taxpayers as-yet unborn will pay for all this. Now who wants some free pie?

Once again, as he did after 9/11, Mr. Bush has responded to disaster with disconcerting uncertainty, then risen to the occasion later. Once again, he has delivered a speech that will reassure many Americans that he understands the enormity of the event and the demands of leadership to come.

Yes, those Americans who think we found WMD in Iraq will be reassured. Also people who think they really won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

But there are plenty of reasons for concern. After 9/11, Mr. Bush responded not only with a stirring speech at the ruins of the World Trade Center and a principled response to the Taliban in Afghanistan. He also decided to invade Iraq, and he tried to do it on the cheap - with disastrous results, for which the country continues to pay every day.

Yes, that was the only problem: we didn't spend enough money to unnecessarily and mendaciously invade a country that had not attacked us.

This time, Mr. Bush must come up with a more coherent and well-organized follow-through.

Because, you know, a more incoherent, disorganized--not to mention dishonest and callous--follow-through would be something we really don't want to think about.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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