Nevermind the blame game. I’m sure they’ll be enough blame to cover everyone who could have done better helping the victims of Katrina.
How about FEMA’s bungling as documented in Newsweek (9/12/2005):
“On Monday morning, as the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast, Col. Tim Tarchick of the 920th Rescue Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, got on the phone to call every agency he could think of to ask permission to take his three rescue helicopters into the disaster zone as soon as the storm abated. The response was noncommittal. FEMA, the federal agency that is supposed to handle disasters, told Tarchick that it wasn’t authorized to task military units. That had to come from the Defense Department. Tarchick wasn’t able to cut through the red tape until 4 p.m. Tuesdaymore than 24 hours after the storm had passed. His crews plucked hundreds of people off rooftops, but when they delivered them to an assigned landing zone, there was “total chaos. No food, no water, no bathrooms, no nothing.” There was “no structure, no organization, no command center,” Tarchick told NEWSWEEK.”
Or how about the idea that releasing oil reserves would help gas prices, even though the hurricane took out 10% of our refining capacity? Remember, those are oil reserves, not gasoline!
The same Newsweek article goes on to say:
“Bush’s many critics will say that the president was disengaged, on vacation, distracted by Iraq and insensitive to the needs of poor black people. The White House blames the magnitude of the storm itself, patchy information on the ground and a confused chain of command, according to a senior Bush aide who requests anonymity in order to speak freely about internal administration discussions. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Bush is fighting a war, and he is sometimes slow to react, and he may have been lulled by early reports that New Orleans had been spared the worst of the storm. These are all legitimate excuses. Still, we expect more from a president.”
What about the continuing lack of attention to the poor who had no way to escape? Yes, problems evacuating this population may have been due in part to poor planning by state and local officials, but what about the bigger problem of poverty that is worsening under Bush’s reign?
So, let’s see how this all adds up:
Ignored minorities getting poorer + no minimum wage requirements + Bush’s buddies getting lucrative contracts + minorities being removed from voter rolls = Bush’s lilly-white country that everyone else hates.
The biggest problem is that the Democrats are not making enough noise about this.
Time to wake up!