Monday, September 12, 2005

The storm didn’t discriminate


As I write, Orrin Hatch is giving a long speech to John Roberts, imploring him not to answer any questions.

Bush finally goes to New Orleans, the town he used to get drunk in. He does so in order to look all manly and in-controlly.


Sorry, don’t know how that got in there. The real picture:


He went armed with a set of canned responses. Like everything else from this administration lately, they arrived a week late and were totally inadequate. Asked how racial considerations affected the response to Katrina, he sidestepped the issue and responded to an absurd accusation no one actually made: “The storm didn’t discriminate, and neither will the recovery effort. When those Coast Guard choppers ... were pulling people off roofs, they didn’t check the color of a person’s skin, they wanted to save lives.”

And after a week, here’s what Karl Rove came up with as an explanation for Bush’s remarks that no one anticipated the breaching of the levees: he meant AFTER the storm had bypassed New Orleans, when it was said that it had “dodged a bullet.” That’s not what he said, that’s not what he meant, he’s fooling no one.

Asked about federal failures, he snapped that the reporter was playing the blame game. Another reporter specifically asked him to name a single thing, just one, that had gone wrong. He stood in the middle of all that wreckage and devastation (his credibility I mean, although yeah New Orleans looked pretty trashed too) and couldn’t think of even one.

(Update: Here’s his answer to that one, in its full gibberishy glory:
Oh, I think there will be plenty of time to analyze, particularly the structure of the relationship between government levels. But, again, there’s -- what I think Congress needs to do -- I know Congress needs to do -- and we’re doing this internally, as well -- is to take a sober look at the decision-making that went on. And what I want the people of this state and the state of Mississippi to understand is that we’re moving forward with relief plans. And we’re going to move forward with reconstruction plans, and we’re going to do so in a coordinated way. And it’s very important for the folks of New Orleans to understand that, at least as far as I’m concerned, this great city has got ample talent and ample genius to set the strategy and set the vision. And our role at the federal government is -- obviously, within the law -- is to help them realize that vision. And that’s what I wanted to assure the Mayor.)
And I’m sure he felt very assured indeed.)

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