You are herecontent / Please take another look at this...
Please take another look at this...
Posted by GaYellowDawg
It's not about blame. It's about responsibility. Let us not forget that the first of the inalienable rights listed by the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and it is the primary responsibility of the American government to safeguard American lives. When American lives are in danger, it is the responsibility of government to act, not to cut cakes, strum guitars, buy a house, attend a baseball game, or cut a swath through Manhattan's finest shops.
While George Bush was eating cake with John McCain, rats were eating American corpses in American cities. While George Bush was strumming a dissonant chord with a country singer, a dissonant, desperate cry for help went unheeded from American voices in American cities. While Dick Cheney was closing on a posh new house, floodwaters were closing in on many more American houses, and, even worse, their owners. While Donald Rumsfeld was enjoying a game in an American baseball stadium, American citizens were dying in an American football stadium. While Condoleeza Rice was delightedly prancing through Manhattan shops in search of shoes, American citizens were desperately sloshing through New Orleans buildings in search of drinkable water. The largest natural disaster in modern American history is no time for absentee government, but that's what we got.
Certainly, it's unreasonable to assign responsibility for the hurricane itself. However, it is certainly reasonable to assign responsibility for actions that made this disaster as bad as it was. Who ignored FEMA warnings about both a New York City terrorist attack and a New Orleans hurricane, and then gutted FEMA? The Bush administration. Who assigned another layer of bureaucracy to FEMA? The Bush administration. Who appointed the architect of FEMA's astonishing incompetence? The Bush administration. Who gutted the funds for maintenance and upgrades of the New Orleans levees - which might have withstood this storm otherwise - to fund the war in Iraq? The Bush administration. Who sent a considerable percentage of first responders - the Louisiana National Guard - to Iraq? The Bush administration.
There have already been efforts to shift responsibility for this calamity onto New Orleans and Louisiana officials. There are more spin doctors at work in Washington than there are medical doctors at work in New Orleans. Inevitably, there will be talk about the inefficiency of government. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not about the inefficiency of government. It is about the inefficiency of those who control its vast resources. In short, this is a problem with the administration, not the government. It is a problem with this administration's philosophy concerning disasters: don't bother preventing them. Much better to try to reap support from the overwhelming generous spirit of the American people, claim that the disasters were unforseeable (despite plainly written memos in one case and Discovery Channel specials in another), and spend more time looking to abrogate responsibility than looking for root causes.
Speaking of this administration's philosophy, one of its philosophical forerunners, Grover Norquist, said that he wanted to get government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Unfortunately, drowning is what we are left with today. American men, women, and children are drowned by floodwaters. A major American city is drowned by crumbling levees and crumbling budgets. And the government's effectiveness is drowning. Not in a bathtub. The United States government is far too big for a bathtub. No, it takes a vast sea of incompetence, inaction, and ambitious ineffectiveness, whipped up by the perfect storm, to drown this government. This particular Category Five hurricane is not named Katrina; it is named George W. Bush.
The Bush administration will, to its last day, scrabble to escape its responsibility for American deaths in Louisiana. And so we see what will become the true legacy of George W. Bush: uncaring, unfeeling, unthinking incompetence accompanied by furious efforts to absolve him of its consequences. These efforts bring responsibility to the American public: it is our responsibility to condemn this administration. It is our responsibility to drown the voices of its patrons and sycophants as thoroughly as the voices of the poor were drowned in New Orleans. It is our responsibility to attack its philosophical foundations as thoroughly as the foundations of the houses were attacked on the Gulf Coast. And it is our most important responsibility to never allow an administration like this into office again.