Saturday, January 20, 2007
It Isn't Paranoia
It isn't paranoia if they really are out to get you.
Political storm clouds gathered again over the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina as former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said party politics influenced decisions on whether to take federal control of Louisiana and other areas affected by the hurricane. [...] Brown, speaking at the Metropolitan College of New York, said he had recommended to President Bush that all 90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast affected by the devastating hurricane be federalized — a term Brown explained as placing the federal government in charge of all agencies responding to the disaster. "Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking, 'We had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor, and we have a chance to rub her nose in it,'" he said, without naming names. "'We can't do it to Haley (Barbour) because Haley's a white male Republican governor. And we can't do a thing to him. So we're just gonna federalize Louisiana.'"How many people died because the Busheviks withheld federal aid, trying to force Governor Blanco to surrender the state to them? Is negligent homicide a "high crime" and therefore grounds for impeachment? And why has it taken so long for "Heck of a Job Brownie" to tell us about this? The cowardice of the Busheviks disgusts me as much as their moral bankruptcy. If he were a real patriot, he'd have blown the whistle as soon as he found out Bush let people die while he tried to seize more political power. (H/T Salon's Table Talk)
The federal government has the legal responsibility and the lead role in disasters. A disaster like Katrina is automatically "federalized."
And that's a good thing. Mayors are generally selected based on their cooperation with the real estate lobby, governors are often the brokers between local business interests, and it's only in the federal mandarinate that one can get above the greasy stuff of local politics. Obviously, the feds need to work with the locals, who understand the ins and outs of the situation better, but the feds need to show up with the goods.
So, I don't think the problem was that Bush federalized NOLA. It's that he failed at federalizing.
The issue here, anyway, is not "federalize" but "do something". BushCo deliberately withheld aid in order to pressure Gov. Blanco to, in essence, agree to be the scapegoat for the failure to respond to the emergency.
More blogs about politics.