Katrina: Politics of Hate Already Rising
I have more to share on this shortly, but wanted to dedicate a separate post to the politics of the situation. Looks like both the republicans and democrats are strategizing how this horrible disaster can benefit their parties. IMHO they are no better than the looters on the streets of NOLA, but then again I have come to not expect much from either of them.
Having just watched portions of the White House press conference with Scott McClellan, I was disgusted by some of the reporters questions. But it would seem the same such questions are cause for celebration and attack by those who just hate George Bush. The most offensive question I heard was regarding whether or not this disaster could have been averted if the war was not going on in Iraq. But the same question is apparently more fodder for the Bush haters as evidenced by KOS' response on the Daily Kos. Look, I am not a huge fan of Bush's, who could be given his administration's track record on everything from Kyoto to the handling of Iraq to his dealings with the international community, but this sort of questioning is simply ridiculous.
Could this disaster been averted if the LA flood project the reporter cited received the $60MM it requested instead of the $10MM it got - perhaps, but perhaps not. First, who doesn't want more money for their projects - almost everyone wanted more money than they got - but I think the real problem is the design of the bowl and levee system. Yes we need a vibrant port city and after visiting I just love New Orleans, but they built a major city below sea level! It is bound to happen. Maybe corruption would have skimmed off the important parts if they had the money. Or maybe they would have been in the middle of some major reconstruction work which would have been even more disastorous. Armchair quarterbacking is great insofar as it relates to matters of little import, but when the stakes are so high, why exert the energy for such a reason.
We can't focus on these matters - let our future history be the judge of such matters. But let us not judge any of this today. Let's learn from the mistakes and do better. Let's focus our effort on the here and now, engage in discussions that contribute to the solution and take actions that take care of the people who need our help.
All of you Bush haters are sure to find tons of fodder for your cannons arising from this terrible disaster - but perhaps some of you will find new solutions to some old problems and we can be all the better for it rather than being incensed by the lens through which you are viewing the news...