Saturday, September 03, 2005

Politicising Disaster

Okay, let's get this out of the way first.

President George W Bush is solely responsible for the worst natural catastrophe in United States history. That's what a lot of bloggers, newsmen and women, and politicians are saying, so it must be true.

Here is what must have happened:

Sometime last week President Bush sneaked out of his ranch house in Crawford, Tx. under cover of night. He crouched down real low to avoid a possible confrontation with Cindy Sheehan, who we know frightens him to death. Then, he made his way to the Gulf of Mexico, where he somehow conjured up hurricane force winds and sent them spinning towards the coast. When the storm passed Florida, he managed, through some amazing feat of magic, to whip the winds up until they were blowing up a category 5 force. And then he aimed it towards New Orleans. His biggest mistake at this time was not hitting New Orleans dead on, thus not bringing about the destruction he had planned. In order to adjust for this slight miscalculation, he personally grabbed a shovel and proceeded to dig out the levee until it finally burst and in turn, flooded the entire city. By this time, it was almost dawn, so he quickly sneaked back to the ranch just in time to catch a flight to San Diego and make a speech, thus covering up his vicious crime.

But, alas, the dreaded Left wing Liberals found him out.

Apparently his reasons for committing this Nazi-like atrocity on New Orleans is because he hates black people. And because he wants to punish the world for trying to make everyone believe that Global warming is his fault, too.

At least, that's what the Left wingers seem to want us to believe. Do you believe it? They do.

Now. Lets get serious.

I am mad. I am Janet Reno's blind date mad. I am madder than Al Sharpton at the airport having to answer the white courtesy phone.

My readership is down for some reason and people haven't been leaving comments as they used to. That would have upset me until recently. Now I don't really care. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. I have something to get off my chest.

We have a major natural disaster on our hands, the worst in history. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people are dead. Millions are displaced and homeless as a result of this storm. There is looting and killing and rape going on in the city of New Orleans, and there is much more devastation in Mississippi and Alabama. My girlfriends father, who lives in New Orleans, is still unaccounted for.

And some people want to spend their precious time and energy bashing and blaming the President and his administration. Never mind that there are millions of people that need immediate help. It is more important to these people to question whether the President acted quickly and decisively enough.

The Bush haters have sunk to an all time low.

Robert F Kennedy Jr claims that Hurricane Katrina is Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Bush's fault because Gov. Barbour talked the President out of signing some ineffective agreement in Kyoto, Japan.

Jesse Jackson claims Bush caused the hurricane because 70% of the residents of New Orleans are black.

My teenage son who says he likes black people and also says that I am a "racist" said to me about the people in New Orleans that are suffering, "They are all black people." His "racist" father said this in response:

"They are people who are suffering, and they need help."

And others claim Bush purposely delayed rescue efforts and then lied about them, because...well, I don't quite know the reason he would do that. And apparently, neither do they.

This makes me want to vomit.


What if all these ridiculous accusations are true? So what? Are the people who are starving and dehydrating and dying from violence going to magically be saved from their unfortunate situation because we now know this?

A blogger friend of mine says he doesn't believe we are in Iraq for the right reasons but he thinks now that we are, we need to finish the job. The same could be said about the tragedy in the Gulf states. Mistakes were made. Miscalculations. At all levels. So I guess we should just pack up everything and leave these people to fend for themselves?

I live near a city of 39,000 people. I was thinking about how this small city would do if it were flooded as bad as New Orleans. I don't think all the people would be rescued within 48 hours, and maybe not in 48 days. It simply is not realistic to assume that had the president acted a few hours sooner that the rescue of those people would be that much faster. Besides, there has to be a plan of action. Meeting with all his advisors and his cabinet takes some time. New Orleans has over a million population. Do they really think that anyone could save those people any faster? Does it occur to people that it will take a very long time to search through every house in the area for survivors?

Someone else said the President didn't send some hospital ship to help until sometime after the storm, not right away, and then claimed he sent them earlier than he actually did. Well, maybe he did. But the hospital ship is on it's way, if not already there. Better late than never I say. Especially in this case.

And that brings up another point.

President Bush has the responsibility of 250 million plus people on his shoulders, not to mention the mantle of keeping the entire world safe from tyranny and oppression. Surely he can be forgiven for a misstatement. Or can he? If you read the newspapers and watch network news, particuarly CNN, apparently even his mispronunciation of some words proves that he is incompetent.

You say tomato, I say tomahto.

Let me address the Presidents detractors now:

You hypocrites. Can you say you could do better and really believe it? By what right do you criticize the leader of the free world while innocent people are suffering a devastating catastrophe? Where does this self righteous arrogance come from? And what is the point?

You complain that the president led our young men into a war to die in Iraq for oil, or worse yet, for a lie that has yet to be explained. Why would he lie about that just so he can kill his own people? It doesn't make sense.

You call him a liar and a terrorist and a hate monger and a thief and a murderer. You call him stupid and ignorant and incompetent and evil. You say you hate him, but you can't say why. Not, at least, for any valid reason.

It has been theorized by some that if Clinton was in charge he would do a better job, and quicker than Bush.

Coulda. shoulda. woulda.

Let me tell you something:

If Clinton was in charge he would have done exactly the same thing as Bush. So would Kerry. So would Gore.


Because a President recognizes that there some things more important than partisan politics. Like the safety of the people. Like doing everything he can to protect our country and our people. They would all do the same thing in Iraq, too.

There is so much more I can say about all this. I am so angry. No. Not angry. Call it righteous indignation. Point is: Politicising this situation is pointless and serves no purpose other than undermining the efforts of the President to do his duty. In the same way that critisizing the war in Iraq undermines the efforts of our military, except that criticism emboldens and empowers our enemy also.

Come to think of it, possibly criticism of the President in this situation may embolden looters, too. I don't know. It's just a thought.

I want to address one last point. A blogger I read today had this to say:

"I Won't Contribute to Katrina."

I bet you'd like to hear why he won't contribute. It's because he hates Bush. Really. He goes on to explain. I am not going to reprint the whole thing here. You can read it for yourself if you have the stomach.

How cruel. I want to help and I can't. He can help but he won't. What's wrong with this picture?

Anyway, I couldn't resist responding. This what I said to him and what I say to all you Bush haters:

So, because you hate Bush, you will not donate to ease the suffering of thousands of people, the majority of whom probably hate Bush as bad as you do.

That is the most despicable,hateful, insensitive,uncaring,cruel,demonic, non-Christian statement I have heard in a long time. You are selfish at best and ghoulish at worst.

Satan himself has more compassion that you. You would allow poor people to suffer and die because you hate the President. How pathetic.

You should get down on your knees and thank God that you are not one of those people about to die in horrible agony.

God Damn you.

God damn you all to Hell.


mlwhitt said...

My only Bush/Katrina complaint was that I thought he should have left out the "Trent Lott's house" comments in his speech today. If as a Conservative caused me to raise my eyebrows, I am sure it caused many on the left and moderates to do so as well.

mlwhitt said...

Oh yeah and that Blunderford over on Blogcritics is a complete DUMBA$$!!!! I can't believe that someone would be as stupid to say that since they don't support the leader of the country, that they aren't going to help save lives by donating.

Danielle said...

I believe that for whatever reason the help did not arrive in a timely fashion. It doesn't matter who the current president is, the fact remains that a lot of people died from dehydration and starvation in the United States of America. That is something that should never ever EVER happen, shame on every single person who sat on their hands for one moment longer than they should have.
The response should of been immediate and it wasn't, plain and simple.

Francis Lynn said...

If sunrise was a minute late, the Bush-bashers would blame him. 'Tis to be expected from the ilk. We have seen it so often in the past. We don't get mad. They just reaffirm our moral superiority of them. Nice touchè in your response. I added my own.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Whoa...take a breath there, buddy. Your readership hasn't gone down. It is a Friday night, and a 3 day weekend. And there's so many bloggers writing on the same thing, it's just a bit overwhelming to keep with everyone's blogs.

Danielle, respectfully, what more could have been done, realistically? No matter who was in power, at all levels, I'm sure it would have gone down exactly the same way. Arm-chair first-responding and Monday quarterbacking and playing the blame game seems to have become an American favorite pastime. People need to quit pointing fingers and quit looking to others for a misfortune that everyone was warned about. No one had the foresight to see that the hurricane would have been a level 5 and that it would veer at the last moment, and that the levie would break. The NY Times had a great article today that should be read by those critical of the government.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary said...

I am Janet Reno's blind date mad.


Thanks for the laugh, Mark. I really needed it.

My frustration has been building with watching the way the media have covered the disaster.

Today, all the charges of racism, that Bush didn't respond quickly because many of the victims are black, has pushed me over the edge.

I don't know how the Leftists can harbor as much hate as some of them do.

On Nightline, Koppel was talking about the indifference of the federal government. That's just nuts. What a hateful thing to say!

Things have gone so badly in New Orleans. There's so much misery. Obviously, mistakes were made at all levels of government. There's no denying that.

Still, there's no way that I would think any American president would actually WANT things to wrong.

Injecting race as the motivation for inaction or incompetence on the part of government agencies is unfair.

The hate for Bush is so intense for some of these libs that it colors EVERYTHING. Everything is seen through that prism.

I'm SO sick of it. I can't stand anymore of the attacks.

A time of crisis is a time to work together, not do whatever it takes to divide the country in hopes of realizing a political agenda.

Liam said...

Blimey! All of a sudden I find myself agreeing with Mark & Mary, the world is a strange place today. Nice rant there, Mark. Hope you feel better now you’ve got that off your chest? Before I get on to your article proper though, can I just be a pedant and confirm that you really meant to say; “We have a major natural disaster on our hands, the worst in our nation’s history”?


Anyone who says the President is to blame for a hurricane really needs to go get an education in science. There may be an argument for Global Warming being to blame but, for hurricanes in the Gulf, that argument has still to be proved and even if it is proved, nothing GWB could have done in his time in office would have changed that.

Also his administration isn’t responsible for Louisiana’s Disaster Management planning. Something certainly did go wrong there, either in the planning of an evacuation, or in delaying the order too long for the plan to be effectively carried out in time. While that is obvious, it isn’t the Federal Government’s fault and this isn’t the time to be discussing it anyway.

Anyone who doesn’t donate what they can to a humanitarian disaster relief effort (especially for ‘political’ reasons!) really doesn’t deserve the benefits of civilisation and should be taken out and shot. Now.

Normally relief operations take many days or weeks to really get underway. I think the ‘sluggishness’ of the operation in this case is more a matter or perception than reality. Even in a country like America it’s a huge logistical effort to get everything you need in place when you can’t rely on transport, electricity, communications or fuel being available. There has been wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans since before the storm even hit the city. This isn’t usually the case, so normally relief organisations have had more time to get things moving before the television-watching public start focussing their impatience on anything that can’t happen the instant they want it to.

I don’t want to say much on the breakdown of law and order other than that it is horrifying. I have a nasty suspicion though that exactly the same would happen in some cities in similar situations in any country, including the UK.

Weary Hag said...

Nice job at putting together the thoughts of many of us who sit in our cozy living rooms watching this horror unfold.

Things like this make me glad I never immersed myself in politics ~ this way I can concentrate on caring, sympathizing, empathizing, prayerful thought and honest concern for these fellow Americans who are enduring such a hell. I don't have to taint or discolor any of that with the semantics and noise of snap judgement, unfounded accusation and finger pointing the way politically minded individuals seemingly must.

This is a very well-written post... thanks for sharing. (I'm here through a comment you left on Steve's blog)

Lone Ranger said...

As anyone who has studied Chaos Theory knows, you can trigger a hurricane just by scaring a butterfly. It may not have been on purpose, but....

Xena76 said...

Liam, you are exactly right about one thing, well many things, but the problems with evacuation and response did not start with the President. Louisiana is responsible for evacuation and disaster plans. Clearly it didn't work that well, Louisiana really has not had a whole lot of experience with major hurricanes.

In addition, my husband and I were talking about this last night, if you lived anywhere near the levees and there was a category 5 hurricane coming, what would YOU do? Grab as much as you could carry and drive as far as you could, sleep in the car if you have to. That said, there is a lot of suffering in Louisiana that really could have been avoided if they had done what they were told. That is neither here nor there at this point. They are Americans and they are suffering and those who won't help because they hate the President are the evil we MUST avoid putting in power and giving too much room to be evil.

I don't seem to remember there being any problem raising donations for the tsunami because they hated the President. While it may take a few more days, I really don't believe that they won't get the aid they need. I can't believe that or I will have to throw myself in front of a train.

The aid that has been sent and those that have gone to help have been met in some areas with hostility, even sniper fire. If you decide you need a reason not to donate, there's one. Those people who are shooting at Medi-vac helicopters, shooting at those trying to get into the Medical center to help, shooting at cops just because they are cops, have (in my mind) no redeemable value and should be removed from the gene pool, by whatever means necessary, so that those who really need it can get the help that is being offered.

tugboatcapn said...

I have one of them there science-type questions...
How long does it take to die from dehydration and starvation?
Using the Terri Schiavo model, isn't it about 12/13 days or so?

tugboatcapn said...

Mark, I had a post almost just like this one started, and the wife pointed me here.
(I still may finish it...)

The best comment that I can come up with is:
Amen. It is time someone said it.
All of it.

MadMustard said...

First of all, the perceptions of the majority of bloggers can be dispensed with thusly; take the left-wing nuts who consider everything that Bush does as evil and put them on the left side of the equation and take the right-wing nuts who think that everything that Bush says and does is etched on stone tablets from the mountain-top and position them on the right side of the equation. They cancel each out, forget about those people.

These partisans are predictable aligned regardless of the party in power. Remember the utter hatred from the right-wing afforded to Clinton during his term? That is just a reality. The remainder of the population sees things with a clearer sense of reality.

The questions and criticisms about this emergency response will be coming from republicans as well as democrats when the Congress returns. They do not want to see this kind of ineptitude repeated on their home turf should a natural or terrorist emergency occur.

For four years they have granted unprecedented funding and power to be allocated to the federal government to deal effectively with disasters. They created the Department of Homeland Security to lead and coordinate emergency disaster response. The response to a surprise disaster is one thing, but this disaster was telegraphed days ahead of its arrival. President Bush himself said that “the results are not acceptable”. I agree with the President. He needs to crack some heads!

The question that most Americans are asking now was best summarized by Newt Gingrich, “If we can’t respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the gulf for days, then why do we think we’re prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?”

tugboatcapn said...

Hear, Hear!!

Marie's Two Cents said...

As I understand it President Bush declared the Entire Gulf Coast a Disaster Area 2 days before the hurricane hit. The Governor of Louisiana (Kathleen Blanco) never called the National Guard right away. And the Mayor of New Orleans (Ray Nagon) had buses come and evacuate his buddies from the Hyatt hotel, take them to the Superdome, put them in front of the line of people waiting for buses leaving for Houston, leaving his fellow people that had been living in sqwaller for days to sit there and take this crap.
I dont see any leadership going on in Louisiana except President Bush!
I think your reply's have gone down because your settings have eliminated some of the riff raff.
But they look good to me.
Eccelent Post!!!!

firstbrokenangel said...

I'm glad you happened along my blog so I could come here and see what you had to say - and you took the words right out of my mouth

It's an excellent post and clear as a bell. Those who ask why bring up Trent Lott's house are over-reaching. He boarded up, tried to get his neighbors to evacuate and it has stood it's ground for 150 years; now it is no longer there and that alone was a good analogy of the obliteration of that part of our country.

A plan was supposed to be in place and it was a plan made long ago by others long before Bush became our president. Pointing fingers at him is like saying he caused this hurricane, which is absolutely ridiculous to say the least. Politicing it is beyond my comprehension. It'll be years before the new coastline is rebuilt, if at all, especially in New Orleans and it is up to us to take these people in from shelters,give them whatever help they need till they can get back on their feet in another state. I hear Boston is even thinking of bringing refugees here; they might hate the cold but they are alive and can start over again for they cannot stay in the "DOMES" forever. That is a lot of people to swallow up into society all over the country but it has to be done. Not just Texas but all of us.

Like I said, to blame the president is utterly stupid and so very wrong. He is probably the most compassionate man in the world who's had disaster after disaster happen on his watch. FEMA should have been better prepared; the old plan did not work, levies broke and it is the most single natural disaster that has ever happened to this country. It is up to every state to absorb these people into their neighborhoods. Right now, it's just a bandaid because President Bush felt that the response was unacceptable!

And the Governor and Mayor of New Orleans actions were unacceptable.

With all the press there, you'd think they would pitch in and help and not leave dead bodies just yards from where they were standing; that troubled me immensely. I had to finally turn off the television because I could take no more - it was just making me sick.


Fitch said...

You know what. I don't give a crap who's to 'blame' I just as soon punch everyone playing the blame game right now in their damed face. Line up y'all, it's your turn soon. Shut the eff up and help. Don't want to shut up? I got a fist itchin' to knock out some teeth.

Mike's America said...

Mark:I've read similar comments like the one you correctly condemn.

It makes me sad to hear and read such things at such a painful time.

I fear for the sanity of some of these lefties. Their thinking and conduct is bordering on the psychotic.

Daffy76 said...

I too loved the Janet Reno comment and I agree totally. This sort of thing has nothing to do with politics or creed or race or anything other than these human beings, AMERICANS who are suffering.

Just wanted you to know that I am still here and still reading, though I don't always comment.