Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Common Sense

All of the finger pointing lately by both Republicans and Democrats has got me to thinking about what they are saying.

The Democrats say that Bush didn't move fast enough to help the victims of Katrina. They say he doesn't care about black people. They say he is only interested in the oil from the gulf. Or Trent Lott's house. They say if the victims of Katrina were rich, he would have been there sooner to help them. And on and on and on.

The Republicans say the snafu over Katrina is the Democrat Mayor's fault. And the Democrat Governor of Louisiana. They accuse the governor of ignoring Bush's plea for her to activate the National Guard, among other things. They say the mayor did not implement all the possible methods of transportation to get the people out of New Orleans. And on and on and on.

I have been thinking about these things.

First, let me address the Republican's accusations:

We need to be reminded that Mayor Nagin is not a professional politician. He was a vice president and general manager of a cable tv company before he ran for office. he was a Republican until just before he entered the race for mayor because he had a better chance to get elected as a Democrat. He is not experienced in these matters.

Who would be?

There have been many storms and hurricanes in New Orleans before and some of them were predicted to be just as bad or worse than Katrina. It is possible that he didn't take the threat seriously enough. I can understand and excuse that.


New Orleans had never been flooded like that before. And the levees always held in the past. Is anybody aware that the levee that burst in this case was the strongest one in the city? The very last one they would have expected to break.

We humans tend to think there is nothing we can't overcome and nothing that can beat us. We defy God, or nature, or whatever you want to call it. We think, "That will never happen to me". It probably never crossed his mind in the emotion of the moment to use the buses.

The same can be said of Governor Blanco. Can't you just see her point when she turned down the President when he asked her to enact emergency procedures? I do. She said she was concerned that by taking over, the federal government might declare martial law. I can see that. She also underestimated the destructive power of Katrina. And she was unsure that martial law would be necessary.

Okay, so mistakes were made. When I was married and my kids were little tykes, sometimes they would spill their milk or juice. My wife had no patience with childish clumsiness and would yell at them and call them clumsy and stupid. I would say, "now. now, it was only an accident. He didn't do it on purpose." If he had done it on purpose he should have been punished. But since it was an accident he should only be admonished to be more careful in the future.

Still, this isn't spilt milk. Some sort of action needs to be taken. I don't think an admonishment will be enough in this case. People died! I think bad judgment is not a good trait for a leader.

Now, the Democrats accusations:

First, It has been confirmed that Bush declared a state of emergency two days before Katrina made windfall. So, the accusation that he didn't act fast enough is ludicrous. Plus, in any National emergency like this it takes time to get things together in preparation for utilization. As much as we want things to happen yesterday, it just doesn't work that way.

Next, the absolute stupidest accusation being bandied about is the assertion that Bush doesn't care about black people. Aside from the fact that not everyone stranded by the hurricane is black, it doesn't make sense politically for him to turn his back on a large percentage of potential voters. As I stated on ER's blog, I am a virtual idiot compared to Bush and his myriad advisors, and even I know that disregarding African-Americans for any reason is political suicide. Even if he was a card carrying member of the KKK, he wouldn't be stupid enough to show any prejudice against them.

Do the Democrats seriously believe he hates black people? I think not. Sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense at all. In anyone's world.

Oil? Please.

Trent Lotts house. Yes, that probably wasn't the most intelligent thing to say, but it really is a very minor gaffe. Not even worth censuring.

If they were rich. Again, what purpose could it serve Bush to let them die? That's just looking at it from a logical viewpoint.

Then there is basic human compassion. Is there anyone out there who really believes that anyone, even Bush, could possibly be so cruel, cold blooded, and uncaring as to just let thousands of people die a particuarly grievous death?

Anyone that thinks that way must be devoid of any human compassion in their own right.

Maybe an Osama or a Saddam or a Hitler could do that, but we live in a culture of life, not death, and Bush has never ever shown the slightest inclination towards that sort of inhumanity. Why would he all of a sudden start now, at this time?

Let's get serious. Let's use some common sense here.

I wasn't going to make this a long post. It was only supposed to be a few lines. Strange, when i try to write a book, I can't come up with enough words, and when I want to write a few short lines, I end up writing a book. Go figure.

Lie Of The Day (from Laura Ingraham's site)
"I'm not blaming it on anything. I'm just questioning. That's all," claimed Nutty Professor Deepak Chopra, on Hurricane Katrina.

Please! Moments earlier you were listing everything but the kitchen sink as causes for Katrina!


mlwhitt said...

Mark, as usual you make a lot of valid points. When you look, at it that way, it does get it back to the basic issue here, "that all of these people are only human". So to me now it is how they play the game from here on out that should be looked at. I really don't think they knew what was going to happen. The conspiracy theorist in me would say, "well maybe they wanted to see exactly what would happen if a big US city was taken out" but the common sense side of me says, "noone is that heartless".

I think in the end you just had a bunch of humans making the human mistake of pride. Like you said, we had too much pride to ask for help, nor to even realize that we needed to protect ourselves better.

Mark said...

Thanks for your support. I really was starting to have second thoughts about posting this comment. It isn't very well thought out and it does appear to be biased in favor of the President, and that wasn't my intention.

I actually thought seriously about deleting the whole post and writing another completely different.

But if you look at it and really try to be impartial as I did, you can see that the attacks on Bush are basically irresponsible. I mean, really. He hates blacks? Silly. Not that he doesn't share some of the blame. Just how much remains to be seen I think.

The critiques of the Mayor and the Governor are pretty legitimate overall. They did delay and make some bad choices. that much is not disputed, I don't think.

But my point is, I think sometimes politicians are given too much credit for being smarter than they are by their supporters and not enough credit by their detractors. They, and we, are after all, only human as you mentioned. I was just seeking to level the playing field so to speak, and I'm not sure I accomplished that.

Daffy76 said...

Exactly my thoughts on the subject. Anyone can make a mistake, it's just harder to recover from them when you are in politics. The most important thing is to take action now and make sure the people devastated by this storm are looked after.

Poison Pero said...

You were right on, until the end......"We do live in a culture of death".

Maybe not to the extent of Pol Pot, Hitler, etc., but we certainly do have this culture.


45,000,000 innocent executed fetuses in 30 years......Hitler would have had a spontaneous orgasm to kill that many Jews. --> Stalin got half way there, with his own people, but nowhere near 45mill.

Then we have the "mercy killing" of indigents (Sciavo-style). --> Make no mistake, the Groningen Protocol will make it's way here from the Netherlands if we allow it to.

And even worse we have the Mengelians who want to create fetus-coops to store their "product" for exotic experiments. --> Some for the supposed good of mankind, and some for God knows what.......I always like it when they put pig ears on rats. Sooner or later they'll put human heads on goats.
Back to the hurricane.

It has brought out the best in many (the usual characters), and the worst in many (the usual characters as well)......Expecting anything less than the political squabling from both sides is unrealistic.

BRUISER said...

Why would Bush care about humanity at all? Foxnews was only worried about the oil facilities during the hurricane why would their inclinations be any different then their Republican leaders? Should the American people think that spending 1 min and 23 seconds during a speech in San Diego about the tragedy of the storm and turning it into a "war on terror" issue is anything but more of the same from Mr. Bush's failed leadership. Good thing he put one of his highest campaign contributers in the head office of FEMA while reducing their viabilty to a less than cabinet office under the wing of Homeland Security. We obviously have done nothing about our borders what makes you think Bush and Co. have any concern over those who currently reside in these United States? Bush doesn't hate black people ...he just loves them to death.

Mark said...

Bruiser, by that singular hateful comment you have categorized yourself as one that I made metion of in the post.

"Anyone that thinks that way must be devoid of any human compassion in their own right."

Of course we already knew this about you. Why do you bother coming here? Just so you can spew your hatred?

I think if I said John Kerry is God you would argue that.

Your mother must be so proud.

Liam said...

Don’t have much time tonight, so will be brief. (Hurrah, I hear you cry.) Good post Mark. I’d much rather read a balanced review and analysis than a partisan rant (which I fear you can slip into quite easily.) Don’t know if this post is a result of your previous one, but either way, I hope you are sleeping better.

A few thoughts that crossed my mind as I read it – not particularly for or against, just more food for thought:
Planning. I can forgive New York for not having a plan ready to go when people flew jet airliners into skyscrapers; the odds of such an attack were small compared to other likely attacks. However not having a tried and tested plan for dealing with the flooding of a city which is surrounded by water, built below sea-level and in a worsening hurricane zone, is just plain negligent.

Racism? I agree probably not. ‘Wealthism’? Possibly? The people were left behind because they were poor. It so happens that most of the poor were black. I don’t have figures to hand for ethnic breakdowns of ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in New Orleans but it would be interesting to know to what degree wealth is related to ethnicity.

An interesting opinion article from the BBC on the subject of Katrina response here.


tugboatcapn said...

Mark, as usual, your post was a little more reasonable than mine tonite.
Admittedly my inner right wing Kook has become louder and more vociferous in the last couple of weeks, but I am tired of all of the ridiculousness that I have been subjected to because of the political jockeying that has taken place in connection with this storm.
Thanks for putting it into perspective.
You are still my hero.

BRUISER said...

Yes My Mother loves me for not being an MIA, Coke-addicted , Booze hound in the 70's while my Father and Uncle's were fighting a rich man's war thank you very much.

So you freedom loving half-wits think you can delete and censor every criticism of this failed president?

Responsiblity is certainly not a Bush trait...unless he is responsible for:

The Defecit
The War In Iraq
The 3,000 Dead Soldiers of said war
The 20,000 Wounded of said war
The Closing of Military Bases
The Benefit Cuts of Active Duty Military
The Benefit Cuts of Veterans
The Cuts of Subsidies to America's Farms
Getting Scott McClellan's boyfriend James Guckert / Jeff Gannon a press pass
Letting the voice of treason Karl Rove Out a CIA official in a time of WAR
Rushing back to Terry Shciavo's "aid" while waiting three days to think about the Katrina victims
Giving Rudy Guliani a reach-a-round
Giving medals and promotions to the people in his administration who seriously failed this country on and or prior to 9/11
Trying to steal social security and reduce future benefits of the entire populace of America
Man I could go on all day...
Refusing homosexuals equal rights ...i mean come on we all know Rumsfeld and Rove are into Judy Garland...
Refusing to be a leader for America in the nations biggest disaster in History (except for his running for office) during and following Katrina
Hating "the Blame game"..where exactly does the buck stop?
Eating pretzels of mass destruction and almost passing away...which proves there is no GOD...
Renting Our US Military to the highest bidder this decade being Saudi Arabia to fight its enemies who we supported for many a moon...lest we forget


And the final responsibilty he will have when congress is taken back in 2006 is being impeached with a worse approval rating than NIXON...

Delete me censor me ---you freedom loving jagbags!!!

I too have reletives that are Republicans and yes they like you were racist as well....sometimes the truth hurts.

Mark said...

Bruiser, you are delusional. Who here has deleted or censored you? I leave your comments here because they prove my point that Left wing Marxist Communists such as yourself are Hateful and devisive and are basically a waste of space.

Fitch said...

Well, I had the intent to point out that, in response to when you said Is there anyone out there who really believes that anyone, even Bush, could possibly be so cruel, cold blooded, and uncaring as to just let thousands of people die a particuarly grievous death? the answer is yes, Mark. I would've said look at Democrats.Org, or DU, but Bruiser seems to have already made my point. Maybe an Osama or a Saddam or a Hitler could do that Honestly. They see no difference. None at all. They are NOT exaggerating when they call Bush "Bushitler" they really see no difference at all. it doesn't make sense politically for him to turn his back on a large percentage of potential voters. The Left sees this as the elimination of a political opponent, not potential voters for, but potential voters against. Again Check DU, Democrats.Org, or Bruiser on this one. I lurk around Leftist sites frequently. You did get one thing right about the Left though, Anyone that thinks that way must be devoid of any human compassion in their own right. I couldn't have said it better myself.

grody jo-dee said...

i agree with your point about it not being a race issue. even if we were to assume that bush does hate black people, would he really be so stupid as to demonstrate it in this manner (in a disaster so widely televised)? i can't imagine a man on the street being quite that dumb, let alone a president who has a whole cabinet of advisors.

Mike's America said...

Interesting that just across the river in Mississippi, which took the direct hit from the storm, there has been none of the race baiting, even though there are plenty of poor blacks affected by the storm.

I guess when you have a capable state government, it makes all the difference.