Friday, September 02, 2005

The consequences of a failed presidency

The other day I was talking with my wife about how important an event Hurricane Katrina is and how it will probably be the #2 event of this decade (9/11 being the first). Well, that was days ago, and I’m bumping the Hurricane up to #1.

I’ve never been angrier with the President and his Administration than I have been the last few days. He might be politically brilliant, but he cannot govern his way out of a paper bag. He has failed the people on the Gulf Coast and thus failed America. We could have been better prepared for this. One of my Bush Apologist friends asked what I would have done, if I were in the President’s shoes. I promptly rolled out the Ian Barba plan:

-I would have left Vacation Sunday.
-I definitely wouldn't have been in Arizona and California on Monday or Tuesday.
-I wouldn't have started the war in Iraq, and thus I'd have 20 thousand Nat'l Guardsmen ready to roll. I'd pump that up with 50 thousand US soldiers.
-I wouldn't have cut 44% out of a budget (Army Engineering Corps) designed specifically for handling these situations.
-I'd have signed the Kyoto Agreement, and worked my butt off to curb green house emissions.
-I wouldn't have privatized so much of FEMA.
-I'd make a direct appeal to the American People in Prime Time, asking them to please open their hearts and wallets.

This is just part of a common sense course of action that any reasonably informed American could have come up with. Our president miserably failed to enact any of these actions. We are seeing the results of his failed presidency play out so horrifically.

There are consequences for voting for this man. There are consequences for his policies. He didn’t have to gut FEMA, but he did. He didn’t have to reverse Wetland Policy, which would have made the flooding much more marginal, or prevented it entirely. But he did. He didn’t have to fight the stupid war in Iraq, thus making us less secure at home. But he did. He didn’t have to eat cake on Monday, and play guitar on Tuesday. But he did. So many of his policies have direct consequences to how bad the Hurricane damaged these areas, and how piss-poor our response has been. Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned. Bush plays guitar while New Orleans drowns. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

People are dying. Dying. I want this president, to summon his whole administration, his precious department of Homeland Security, and fix this mess. I want him to lead, to save lives, to make all of this OK. I’ll help, we’ll all help. But we need the federal government to lead. I don’t think Bush can do it, I think it is too late now.

Please, Mr. President, prove me wrong.


At 8:17 PM, Blogger johnnie said...

My husband left yesterday for a deployement to the Gulf Coast as a trained firefighter/EMT for FEMA.He went because he wanted to help. His first day was spent standing in line for paperwork. His second will be spent on all-important training including sexual harassment policies. His assignment will be to pass out fliers with the FEMA phone number. No, they are not using these trained EMTs and firefighters to save lives. Only as PR for a failed government agency.

I'm proud that my husband went to help. I'm ashamed my government -- in this time of dire need -- didn't have its stuff together 5 days ago to call for these men and women. And when they finally called, they didn't have a plan to use them effectively.

When the water receeds and the counting is done, we will see what separated the survivors and the victims was nothing but dollar signs.

My spirit weeps for New Orleans. And my heart aches for the country we have become.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Dr. John Barkdull said...

I have heard this same thing happened to firefighters from Tennessee. Some refused to carry out FEMA's PR work and went home, I guess.

I hope you make it known that this has happened to a Texas professional as well. You might go to the national board for DFA.


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