He's Doing a Heck of a Job
The AP has it first.
Proudly providing the reality-based community with the juice on politics, media, religion and culture
The AP has it first.
As Paul Krugman and others are starting to notice, Bush's day-late-dollar-short response to the victims of Hurrican Katrina is not, or at least not primarily, driven by incompetence or lack of "leadership" or good intentions inadvertantly paralyzed. We need to recognize that for Bush and his neo-con friends, the situation in New Orleans is not their worst nightmare. It is their wet dream (no pun intended).
These are people who work hard to conceal from the American public their fundamental, unshakeable conviction that the federal government has no role to play in meeting public needs or serving the good of the people. It should have no such role, it must have no such role, and they have worked tirelessly and long to turn that conviction into policy at every opportunity.
The disaster on the Gulf Coast is a message in a thinly veiled code. It says, "States, when we told you that we were going to set you free to make your own decisions, when we promised you we were going to get the federal government off your back, this is what we meant. This is what we meant by "individual responsibility" and "less government." "It's not the government's money, it's your money" really means that it's not the government's disaster. It's your disaster. See, you are responsible for yourselves now. Your citizens, rich and poor alike, are responsible for themselves. The question of whether the poor of New Orleans "chose" to stay or simply couldn't leave is beside the point. The point is that it is your problem. In the brave new world that we are bringing into being, you are your own cavalry. You put us into power to make men of you, to force you, by our neglect, to save yourselves."
And in times of ease and prosperity, maybe that message reads better than the way it currently does in New Orleans. Hey, go ahead and "starve the beast" if it means we get to keep more of what we have, and make our own choices and run our own show. And on the strength of that, and some hypocritical cant about "family values," the red-staters voted these ideologues into office. And forgot that we human beings live -- have always lived -- on a mortally narrow faultline between safety and disaster. And now the chickens are coming home to roost.
The only surprising thing is that anyone is surprised by that.