In the initial portions of his speech on Thursday night, Bush seems particularly enamored of the aid provided and sacrifices made by (guess who) private citizens. It is all very heartwarming, but also fits eerily in with his whole grotesque ideology: Remove the federal government (and probably state and city governments as well) from any role in taking care of people in need. Privatize everything! If anything could convince people of the need for that, it was Hurricane Katrina.
Even his pledges are all made on behalf of "the American people." Not the government, but us, the people. Which again is very much in line with the fondest hopes of his cronies: Keep your taxes and take care of yourselves.
Bush's pious references to the folks who are gathering the dead bodies need to be tempered by the realization that the company entrusted with that job was previously implicated in a corpse-dumping scandal. Presumably they can be counted on to conceal the true body count.
One bright spot: Bush's speech can be counted upon to piss off his usual cheering section on the right (e.g. the Wall Street Journal) who were hoping that he'd come out swinging against
more government relief. Today the Journal's editorial page suggested that government mollycoddling was precisely what got New Orleans' poor African Americans in trouble in the first place. That's right -- it wasn't poverty or racism that drowned those folks. It was the nanny state. The Journal has been among the voices on the right insisting that Katrina is just more proof of the need for policies they advocate, including tax cuts and the privatization of low-cost housing and education.
Silver-spoon baby George just admitted that he learned from television
that there is "some deep-rooted poverty in the region" where Katrina struck. Our president, the leader of the free world, just learned
that there is deep rooted poverty. How? From watching television
! Does he have any idea how checked out that is? Does he ever go anywhere that the crowd hasn't been pre-screened for Republicanism and a household income above $50,000? And he has just generously offered these folks $5,000 for "job training," which as anyone who has attended college recently knows, will pay for maybe one class.
Interestingly, George looks nervous tonight. He seems slightly out of breath, stiff and awkward. Could it be that his plummeting poll numbers have finally got him (or Karl Rove) rattled?
Now he is on about the danger of a potential terrorist attack, not realizing (apparently) how seriously Katrina has both compromised whatever trust we had in the government's potential response and brought home to us the sheer amount of bullshit we've been fed since 9/11 in terms of the idea that Bush has made us any safer. It is no comfort that he has ordered a "complete review" by the cabinet, since his administration is famous for nothing so much as its whitewash jobs. Anyone who takes this seriously has just not been listening.
What a bunch of hooey. Presumably there was enough here to nauseate his enemies and plenty of new spending to piss off his friends.