Monday, September 05, 2005

America's first political hurricane

Chris Ruddy brings us an excellent article explaining why it is wrong to blame Bush for the Katrina aftermath. Here is an excerpt:

This fact -- which needs to be repeated and remembered -- is that in our country, state and local governments have primary responsibility in dealing with local disasters.

The founding fathers devised a federal system of government -- one that has served us remarkably well through great disasters that have befallen America over more than two centuries.

But if we believe the major TV networks, George Bush, FEMA and the Republicans in Congress are all to blame for the current nightmare.

Let's remember that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was created only in 1979. It was formed to coordinate and focus federal response to major disasters -- to "assist" local and state governments.

Common sense suggests that local and state governments are best able to prepare and plan for local disasters.

Is a Washington bureaucrat better suited to prepare for an earthquake in San Francisco, a hurricane in Florida, or a terrorist act in New York?

After the Sept. 11 attacks against the World Trade Center, no one suggested that the Bush administration should have been responsible for New York's disaster response or that federal agents should have been involved in the rescue of those trapped in the buildings.

Last year, four major hurricanes slammed into Florida. Governor Jeb Bush led the disaster response and did a remarkable job, with nothing happening like what we have seen in New Orleans.

Ruddy nails it -- while nothing can be done to completely avert a natural disaster, city and state governments can still take a lot of measures to keep the situation from completely unraveling. It takes planning and leadership on the local level first. The feds can then come in to pick up the slack which, incidentally, is how it has always been structured.

What the feds were not expecting -- and any of us who are honest with ourselves will admit that we were not expecting this either -- was for New Orleans to essentially transform into a watery version of Fallujah practically overnight.

Ruddy goes on to quote directly from the official "City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan". As you are reading this, remember the AP photo showing scores of undeployed city-owned schoolbuses submerged underwater.

The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed. ...

But none of this really matters to the libs. They want Bush to go down and are grasping at everything they can to accomplish that goal. Expect the yipping of the chihuahuas to grow ever louder in the coming weeks as politicians, celebrities and pundits begin calling for hearings and accountability from this administration. Also don't be surprised when some of the same leftist groups that organized the Sheehan protests start whispering in the ears of some of the families of the hurricane victims.

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