Hurricane Katrina would have devastated Louisiana and Mississippi even if the federal government had been prepared to clean up the damage. But it clearly wasn’t. Now, as a major American city lies beneath 20 feet of water, filled with the rotting corpses of thousands of its residents, with tens of thousands more just now getting supplies and escaping their wretched surroundings, our nation’s government is responding with its usual furious spin. As Josh Marshall notes:
…[T]his whole conversation we’re having now is not about substance, but procedural niceties, excuses which is it is beyond shameful for an American president to invoke in such a circumstance. We don’t live in the 19th century. All you really needed was a subscription to basic cable to know almost all of the relevant details (at least relevant to know what sort of assistance was needed) about what was happening late last week. The president and his advisors want to duck responsibility by claiming, in so many words, that the Louisiana authorities didn’t fill out the right forms. So what they’re trying to pull is something like a DMV nightmare on steroids.
Look at New Orleans today. The severity of the flooding and the plight of its residents are the result of administration policies that diverted money and troops to Iraq and away from a city that has long been a disaster waiting to happen. (Note that the last article was published in October 2001.)
This is what happens when you put government in the hands of people who hate government.