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Guy's Blog

Just one Guy's personal blog of thoughts & sense--common, non, and otherwise--of the world in which we live.

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Location: Nipomo, Central Coast, California, United States

I also blog over at Nipomo News, Messenger and Advocate and Bloggernacle Times

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Et Tu Brutus

Wow, the venerable conservative bastion, The Wall Street Journal is taking Mr. Bush to task for his post Katrina incompetence:


Bush and Katrina
September 6, 2005; Page A28

The White House is slowly recovering from its first-week stumbles responding to Katrina, with President Bush taking his second trip to New Orleans yesterday. His quick elevation of John Roberts to Chief Justice is another welcome sign of energy (see related commentary). But Mr. Bush can't afford to stop there, because the aftermath of Katrina poses a threat to his entire second term.

We aren't referring here to the storm surge of recrimination blaming post-Katrina problems on everything from Iraq, to tax cuts, to his refusal to endorse the Kyoto Protocol. The American public knows this was an epic natural disaster and won't fall for political opportunism. By the same token, Americans also won't have much patience for White House claims that state and local officials were the greater incompetents. Yes, Louisiana needed a Rudy Giuliani. But what Americans want now is proof that their government understands the nature of the challenge and is acting forcefully to meet it.

On this point, Mr. Bush is going to have to recognize the obvious initial failure of the Department of Homeland Security in its first big post-9/11 test. The President created this latest huge federal bureaucracy, against the advice of many of us, and we're still waiting for evidence that it has done anything but reshuffle the Beltway furniture. If FEMA can't now handle the diaspora out of New Orleans to Houston, Baton Rouge and other cities, the political retribution will be fierce.

Notably, the New Orleans mess improved only after the Pentagon got involved. Though the military is normally barred from domestic law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, Defense officials have been doing a lot of creative thinking about what they can do and what the public now expects post-September 11. The press corps might even want to report on that thinking, which is contained in a June 2005 report, "Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support." If he ever fires anyone, Mr. Bush could do worse than find a few more Donald Rumsfelds as replacements.
When the snakes start committing suicide, you know you need to watch your step!

Update: 10:40 a.m. In my earlier post of Barbara Bush's let them eat cake comment, Discourse.net astutely points out that the editors at E & P actually softened Mrs. Bush purported quote in their piece. You really need to listen Mrs. Bush make the comment, which you can listen to it here for the time being. I don't know how how it will be up on NPR's website.


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