Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Political Circus: Katrina

Yeah, I know this post is about a week late, but I think the whole thing is so apalling, I just have to wrtie a post about it.

I just read a in Newsweek: How Bush Blew It. It was very intresting, and I wanted to say a couple things about it.

"[...] President Bush knew the storm and its consequences had been bad; but he didn't quite realize how bad.

The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One."

The hurricane hit on Monday, right? Why is the president so out of touch with the news?


"President George W. Bush has always trusted his gut. He prides himself in ignoring the distracting chatter, the caterwauling of the media elites, the Washington political buzz machine. He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers."

I've heard Republicans talk about the "liberal" media, but this is just bizzare.

Maybe that explains why this happened:

"Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a motherly but steely figure known by the nickname Queen Bee, knew that she needed help. But she wasn't quite sure what. At about 8 p.m., she spoke to Bush. "Mr. President," she said, "we need your help. We need everything you've got."

Bush, the governor later recalled, was reassuring. But the conversation was all a little vague. Blanco did not specifically ask for a massive intervention by the active-duty military. "She wouldn't know the 82nd Airborne from the Harlem Boys' Choir," said an official in the governor's office, who did not wish to be identified talking about his boss's conversations with the president. There are a number of steps Bush could have taken, short of a full-scale federal takeover, like ordering the military to take over the pitiful and (by now) largely broken emergency communications system throughout the region. But the president, who was in San Diego preparing to give a speech the next day on the war in Iraq, went to bed."



Allow me to recreate* some of the dialogue that might have happened between the two:

Gov: "Bush! WE need all you can get! Three levees have broken and the city is flooding!"

Prez: "Don' worry Bee, everythin'll be all right."

Gov: "We need help now!"

Prez: "Y'all be fine. [yawns] gosh, its almost 8 o'clock, I gotta go the bed. BIG speech tomorrow. Chao.".

"By the predawn hours, most state and federal officials finally realized that the 17th Street Canal levee had been breached, and that the city was in serious trouble. Bush was told at 5 a.m. Pacific Coast time and immediately decided to cut his vacation short. To his senior advisers, living in the insular presidential bubble, the mere act of lopping off a couple of presidential vacation days counts as a major event."

Puh-leez. If it's such a major event to cut off a couple of vacation days, i think Bush needs to spend more time in the office. Most Americans don't get anywhere NEAR as much vacation time as he does.

"Bush blithely proceeded with the rest of his schedule for the day, accepting a gift guitar at one event and pretending to riff like Tom Cruise in 'Risky Business'."

Vjack posted a picture about that here. I think that pretty much sums it up.

There's much more in the article, if anybody's intrested.

*Dramatization may not have happened.

2 Comments:

Anonymous MJB said...

I agree- by the way nice add on about the cost of the war in Iraq.

4:35 PM, September 17, 2005  
Anonymous Erin loves your chin said...

Dylan, I didn't know you were so politically informed/liberal/athiest/well-worded. It makes me love you a chillion times more.

2:43 PM, September 21, 2005  

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