Good Job Brownie: Bushie’s remarks invite a blizzard of editorial reaction. Historical forecast? Ask the ghost of Herbert Hoover….

To the political left “which way did they go George” is the biggest gift in 80 years. A quick sampling courtesy of Editilla and the Times Picayune.

First off is a particularily insightful post over at We Could be Famous. I’ve been threatening to redo our blogroll for a while now. Consider this is a sneak peek because these guys are in when I get around to re-arranging the left sidebar. A short snippet:

It has been quite frustrating as a progressive living in New Orleans. Here’s part of what I think happened:

Within the first few weeks of the storm, conservative talk radio had effectively galvanized listener opinion against storm victims. They intoned against victims of Katrina, simultaneously using racial imagery to depict victims of the federal flood and of slow administration response as responsible for their own predicament while pushing back hard against a caricatured interpretation of Kanye West’s allegations of overt racism on the part of the administration.

While the vast majority of the American public tithed generously and remained largely sympathetic, the larger Right found refuge from accountability on the issues of poverty and race within the bosom of their base. This proved to be enough political cover to kill Democratic efforts for an independent commission on the Bush administration’s Katrina response.

There was partisan stalemate in Washington. Democrats were in the minority and Republicans had enough juice from their base to limit federal intervention into the recovery process. President Bush and Karl Rove worked on doing public opinion damage control while the GOP caucus worked on limiting the ability of Congressional Democrats to claim that they’d won any victories on the matter.

Next stop is the Times Picayune and today’s editorial which minces no words:

The U.S. Coast Guard, indeed, performed thousands of heroic rescues after the storm. But it’s indisputable that the rest of the federal bureaucracy failed miserably in aiding tens of thousands of people who waited days for water, food and evacuation. Even reports by the White House and Congress faulted the federal performance.

So did President Bush a few days after Katrina. “The results are not acceptable,” the president said Sept. 2, 2005, referring to the federal failure to timely deliver food and medicines to survivors.

In his memorable Jackson Square speech the following week, the president spoke of the suffering the country had witnessed after the storm, “the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous nation should ever have to know.” He added: “Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency.”

In the long run, the federal government has provided vital aid to help millions return and rebuild their Gulf Coast communities and will continue playing a crucial role in our recovery. As President Bush also said Monday, there’s still plenty to be done here.

But there ought to be no question that the government’s immediate response was slow and shameful.

This is more than a difference in semantics. Plenty of reforms are still needed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal disaster-response entities. The last thing bureaucrats in those agencies need is the view that their performance during Katrina was fine.

It wasn’t. New Orleanians and the nation know it.

Campbell Brown knows the score too. A local girl made good she saw first hand Bushie’s failure:

Much of President Bush’s news conference today was a defense of the many controversial decisions of his presidency, it was also reflective, with the president showing a willingness to admit and talk about the serious mistakes made by this administration.

But on one topic in particular, he seemed almost entirely disconnected from what really happened: Hurricane Katrina. As someone who spent many days in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina, I was taken aback listening to the president talk about the government’s response.

I bet we’d hear about the same thing from CNN’s Kathleen Koch too, who was here on the coast very early on. Campbell continues:

President Bush:

“People said, ‘Well, the federal response was slow.’ Don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed. I remember going to see those helicopter drivers, Coast Guard drivers, to thank them for their courageous efforts to rescue people off roofs. Thirty-thousand people were pulled off roofs right after the storm moved through. It’s a pretty quick response. Could things have been done better? Absolutely. Absolutely. But when I hear people say, the federal response was slow, then what are they going to say to those chopper drivers, or the 30,000 that got pulled off the roofs?”

It is impossible to challenge what so many of us witnessed firsthand — what the entire country witnessed through television day and night: New Orleans was a city for a time abandoned by the government; where people old and young were left at the New Orleans convention center for days with no water or food.

People will disagree over aspects of the Bush legacy, but on the government’s handling of Katrina?

We were there.

The whole country saw what happened. People stuck on roofs were one part of a massive catastrophe. But there was so much else the government didn’t do. To this day that city is fighting for its life.

Mr. President, you cannot pat yourself on the back for that one.

We will debate the war in Iraq, national security, the economy and the rest of your legacy. Those debates will continue for years to come. But on how you handled Katrina, there is no debate.

The failures early on are many and unfortunately for our soon to be ex-president, too well documented for him to tap dance them away.

Now for some other worthy links:  Rachel Maddow’s lame duck watch segment excoriates boy George along with the LA Times Op-ed pageEugene Robinson at the WaPo wonders aloud, as I did earlier, why Bush didn’t try to highlight his actual accomplishments. In short the reviews are in and except for a couple of die hard 30 percenters it’s two big thumbs down for outgoing Mr Prez. History will judge them very well earned.


10 thoughts on “Good Job Brownie: Bushie’s remarks invite a blizzard of editorial reaction. Historical forecast? Ask the ghost of Herbert Hoover….”

  1. I certainly agree the Federal response was inadequate. However, if we depend on the Feds we will always be disappointed because it is incompetent in the great majority of its endeavors.

    What discredits this opinion is there is no mention of the incompetence of the the governor of LA and the mayor NOLA. They failed their citizens as well.

    Who will be to blame when GWB is gone?

  2. All 3 are to blame for the lack of preparation and response, but neither the State of Louisiana, nor the City of New Orleans, designed or built the levees.

    Do just a little research on the Hurricane Pam presentation given to the Bush admin. by Ivor Van Heerden and others, who called this before it happened.

    As a one-time Republican, I have no problem acknowledging Bush was a mess. And, Katrina is emblematic of his catastrophic presidency.

    I thought Sop was generous calling it at 30%. But whatever the %, some people wil never assess Bush objectively. Otherwise, you would not be a “real conservative.”

  3. Nice information on Mr. Van Heerden. Seems he has a simple 3 step plan to make our communities safer.

    I thought this video and the death announcement in the next link were very telling of what happens to people when the government and private sectors ignore their needs. A good volunteer group did come to the aide of a very nice Mr. Washington but the next link shows it ended in a tragic cold night somewhat like tonight.

    I found this link to a little newer video with much the same type of condition for the city. I believe you can hear a shotgun go off on the next street over during her taping. Oh well–

  4. Just to qualify here: I consider this whole story of “slow government response” to be a media Red Pelican Lie.
    I believe that the Government of Rove/Cheney reacted immediately to delay and withhold Boots on the Ground.
    They left me to die in New Orleans, deliberately, tactically, heinously. But they did it on purpose for a number of reasons: 1) Chiefly to drive a stake into the heart of the Democratic Party in Louisiana. 2) Prep Americans on the Benevolence of using Federal Troops to quell Civil Disorder–they waited until the public was SCREAMING for Troops. 3) Machiavellian-wannabe myopic misogeny… “Let the Bitch Drown”. They continue to see this country though tiny eyes, through the eyes of spinning the broken record. Arrogant dictatorial Authoritarian Republicans never see the world seeing them. They had no idea how many had died in New Orleans. They don’t care to see American deaths, just as they did with returning War Dead. 4) Asshole Criminals of this Order always think they can just get away with Murder. Their hubris knows no bounds. They have proven this disregard for American Lives and Property over and over and over since stealing the Election in 2000. 5) George Bush and his minions did the Federal Response Exactly as they wanted and in the timing that they dictated. This was no accident. These men do not operate by accident.

    After they leave office I want to see full blown investigations and prosecutions of these feckless bastards all of them.
    They did not react to the Federal Flood of New Orleans slowly, or incompetently but with clear and present malice.


  5. I have pondered responsding NOL as I try to avoid conspiracy theories. However, I think this one is a stretch.

    GWB abd DC had much bigger fish to fry than undermining the democart party in LA. Their primary concern was protecting our country from another terrorist attack. Why get into the middle of a circular firing squad? My goodness, with Gov. Blanco and Rep. Jefferson, the democrat party in LA had enough on its own to take it down.

    The issue in LA after Katrina was the levees. While we might be able to blame the federal government for their failure, this is not the fault of GWB and DC. I believe the Corps of Engineers had them in place long before anybody even knew who GWB was.

    What will you folks do after January 20 when GWB is back in Crawford and not running the deal any longer. OB has six months of a honeymoon and then it is his deal.

    If you look to the fereral government to resolve your problems you will always be disappointed. The organization is incompetent and inefficient.

  6. Sup this is a case where you have to walk a mile in Editilla’s shoes to understand where he is coming from.

    The hell I went through was over by 4:00PM the day of the storm, for Editilla it was just beginning. A functional FEMA could have gotten food and water to the Dome and Convention Center while a dysfunctional FEMA lead by a political hack / horse farmer couldn’t chew gum and walk. People died and Editilla saw death and inhumanity on a scale normally reserved for members of the military and the press that covers such carnage.

    When an agency is set up to fail it will. James Lee Witt, despite his currnet ties actually ran FEMA well during the Clinton years. It can be done though evidently not with GWB running things.

    Feelings on this issue run very high as you no doubt see.


  7. Sup, government is you and me – and Sop, Editilla and so on. I’ve worked in and around government almost as long as you’ve worked in insurance; and, I seen excellence as well as incompetence.

    The question is what makes the difference and, then, how to we reach the point where excellence is the norm – agreeing that, in large part, the current norm is a general lack of same.

    What makes the difference? IMO, the reliability of the information given decision makers to consider. Members of Congress, our State’s Legislature, elected and appointed decision-makers at all levels of government can make no better decisions than the information they’re given will support.

    Over the years, I’ve seen example after example of “garbage in, garbage out” – present time included.

    I believe a start point for turning things around is requiring anyone providing information to a decision maker to fully and fairly disclose their position and summarize arguments to the contrary (with sources cited).

    Having said that, I realize further comment along that line more appropriate as a post than comment.

    Bottom line here is that even if all claims were paid fairly tomorrow, Katrina would not be “over” because every day since the storm that a claim goes unpaid or underpaid adds weeks/months/years to the time required to be as secure as one’s family/neighborhood/community/state was at the time of the storm.

  8. Sup, there was not a boot on the ground until the 5th day after the levees failed. It isn’t my opinion that troops were held back but a matter of public record. I was there and there were no troops on the ground nor any in the water. Those were Louisiana Fish and Wildlife air boats plucking at least half of those alleged 30,000 people that GWB left to die on their own rooftops. Not his so called government.
    Yes they did it on purpose or you admit to 8 years of assfuck incompetence.
    Those troops were denied the Gov of Louisiana.
    My personal experiences have nothing to do with this reality. Six days I saw not one single troop on the ground.
    Blackwater was there under contract with the Bush Regime. But not US Troops. The Coast Guard is HQd in New Orleans. Russell Honore’ has absolutely born this truth out as well. He came when ordered.
    George Bush should be prosecuted at least for negligent homicide in the deaths in New Orleans if not 2nd degree Manslaughter. He made the call.
    They left us to drown for at least 4 straight days.
    Us, the American People.
    They attempted this because they think us all fools. I cannot readily disagree with such neocon assessment, given what we allowed to happen on our watch up to 2005.
    You can piss this around in your mind all you want but if it happens again, god help you if that bastard’s brother is presidente.
    No matter what happens on Obama’s watch at least I have some faith that it will not happen (or be allowed to happen) on purpose. Don’t ask me why, such is the nature of faith… and lies, but you can spot the lies a whole lot easier if not sooner.

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