I rarely copy and publish an entire post (I think I’ve done it once or twice before), but this piece by Soonergrunt of Balloon Juice speaks the truth so simply, it is a true must read.
This is the greatly (and well) condensed story of New Orleans and Katrina in 2007, and of New Orleans and Isaac in 2012…….oh what a difference a president and a political party make(emphasis mine):
This time seven years ago, people were dying in New Orleans, the Lower Ninth ward was flooded out, Plaquemines Parish was essentially destroyed, and government had ceased to function in southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
The National Guard hadn’t yet rolled the first relief convoys, and erroneous news reports were claiming that law enforcement, rescue, and military helicopters were shot at, and that (black) people were completely running wild raping and stealing everything that wasn’t waterlogged or nailed down. NOPD murdered two unarmed civilians on
the Danziger Bridge six days after the storm came through. My National Guard didn’t even form up until the normally scheduled drill the weekend after the storm, and even then we didn’t start preparing for disaster relief until the afternoon of our Sunday drill. The leading elements of civil/military relief did not enter the city of New Orleans until six days after the hurricane swept through. The two biggest roadblocks to establishing a rescue/restoration mission were the incompetence of the Bush Administration (heckuva job, Brownie) and the politics is everything nature of the Bush Administration. They wouldn’t allow the National Guard from neighboring states to enter Louisiana unless the Governor of Louisiana ceded control to them. The fact that most states in the region were parties to a mutual assistance pact that specifically named the local Governor the responsible party with respect to assets volunteered by other states was irrelevant. The fact that people were dying was irrelevant. What mattered to them was who was going to get the credit and the glory. It didn’t work out so well, however. While nobody remembers Kathleen Blanco, EVERYBODY remembers
ScottMichael Brown’s emails and George Bush flying over the area in Air Force One with that detached expression on his face. It started the permanent decline of Bush’s popularity. The country began to wake up from a nightmare.
Contrast that with today. Yes, there has been significant work on the levy system that has minimized the damage, and this was a smaller (Category 1 vs. Cat 3) storm. But the debris hasn’t even stopped falling, and the National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA are already in place and working rescues, levy repairs, flood pumping and remediation, and all of these things are happening without any drama, without any federal grand standing, and without any public turf battles with the local governments. What grand standing there has been has all been done by Bobby Jindal and his fellow republican governors and legislators from that region.
This is the choice our country faces this year. We have a serial liar with no honor and no integrity and no other guiding principle except to do whatever it takes to win the Presidency with no idea what to do with the office other than to make the lives of people like himself easier, and we have a man of quiet competence who sees his role as President to be the man who gets as many things done as possible for the largest number of people possible.