Bush and Katrina, the side effects

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 at 12:27 PM

Katrina has come and gone, but her effects will linger for years, and people will remember this disaster, our children will learn about it in history classes, and the economic effects will hurt the US more than we can even begin to fathom.

But what of our grinning commander in chief? What of lacadaisical leader of the free world? Well, he'll have an excuse for his failed presidency.

Laying blame for a natural disaster is moronic, at best. While the city, state, and federal response to Katrina in NO and other parts of the Gulf Coast was sorely lacking, it represents a chance to learn, though at a terrible cost.

We now know that our disaster preparedness plan is frought with holes that would make swiss cheese jealous, and we all want to blame Bush for that over here on the left, and for a few reasons.

The FEMA director is a crony with no experience and/or ability, is the first reason. Brown has about as much business heading up FEMA as I do. Not to mention Chertoff is the real leader of FEMA, since this administration created the fledgling department of Homeland Security, and then rolled one of the most important and separate institutions right up underneath it, further increasing the bureaucracy and limiting its effectiveness.

But that's not a valid reason, a management shift, to have seemingly no disaster mitigation plan in place when the chips come down. Its not an excuse.

When the economy tanks now, and the jobs the us loses climbs into the hundreds of thousands, the presidential approval rating is likely to take a hit, but the GOP is going to argue that it is not fair to blame the government for a natural disaster.

They will blame the victims who stayed in New Orleans and other hard-hit towns along the Gulf Coast, and the argument is becoming very quickly that "they shouldn't have been standing there".

But when people say "Mr. Bush, the economy sucks!", he'll say "9/11 Katrina".

When people say "We don't have enough to eat, poverty is out of control!", he'll say "Katrina Katrina 9/11 Katrina 9/11".

When the "inquiry" into what went wrong in the US response to this disaster hits, and people ask him why he was still on vacation two days later, he'll grin, put his forearm on the podium, and say "9/11, compassion, faith, love, Katrina 9/11" and grin some more.

Whatever other effects of Katrina, amid the horrid, disgusting, horrendous disaster that has now become the worst in our history, there is a silver lining.

Bush now has another catch-al excuse for every moronic thing he does.