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MSNBC - Eleanor Clift - Hurricane Politics

"It feels like we’re back in a political campaign with the White House shifting blame to local and state Democratic officials for the shamefully slow response to hurricane Katrina’s devastation. You can fault all levels of government, but the federal government is the last line of defense, and it was clear by the day after the storm struck that this was a regional disaster with national implications for the country’s economic and social well-being.

President Bush has worked so hard to not repeat the mistakes of his father, especially the senior Bush’s lackadaisical response to Florida's Hurricane Andrew, which helped cost him re-election. Former president Bush was never able to reconnect with the American people despite such heroically comic efforts as reading aloud a talking point his handlers had given him: “Message—I care.”


Oh.....well, first you liberals are usually calling the Government the First Line of Defense!

You know, "The Government is your Daddy, your Mommy, your BEST friend!....

Now it's the last line of defense...

Guess so, especially when the FIRST LINE of Democrats at the State and Local level let the people literally wash away.......

If there’s an upside to Katrina, it’s that the Republican agenda of tax cuts, Social Security privatization and slashing government programs is over. It may be too much to predict an upsurge of progressive government, but the environment and issues of poverty, race and class are back on the nation’s radar screen. The proper role for government will be debated as we move toward the next presidential election. “Nobody is for smaller government when you’re in the middle of a hurricane or a flood,” says former Louisiana senator John Breaux. An e-mail I received from a NEWSWEEK reader says if somebody had tried to withdraw a feeding tube from a brain-damaged woman at the Superdome, Bush would have sent in the Marines, a poke at the president’s hasty return to Washington during the Terri Schiavo episode compared with his halting response to Katrina."

Wanna bet? Those "race and poverty" cards may be on the DNC's cards, but according to the poll's taken so far - the general public isn't taking the bait.

This isn't 1968.

But worry not, Bush's agenda is going to be fine. In fact everytime you liberals have pronounced his agenda dead - it wasn't. When you predicted a close election, it wasn't. When you thought that after two weeks of playing the "Blame Bush" the public would by the propaganda, they didn't.

Wrong as usual, you'll be found wrong again.

By the way, The Mayor of New Orleans who failed to bus thousands of poor blacks out harms way was well, "black" wasn't he?.....

I digress. But Eleanor forgets that three years in this Country and the Political landscape is hugh.

In fact, mark this prediction down:

Democrats are going to lose BIG in 2006 and 2008 precisely because of their actions and even more because of their "reaction" to Katrina. Ourside their rabid ultra-Michael Moore base, it's not going over well at all with the main stream of the party.

"Even some Republicans agree with Hillary Clinton that FEMA should be restored to stand-alone status as a government agency rather than being wedged into the giant bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland Security. The merger has never been a happy one, with agency officials still squabbling over wearing jackets emblazoned with FEMA or DHS. President Clinton rebuilt FEMA during his presidency, and Jamie Lee Witt, the Arkansan who led the agency, won praise from Republicans as well as Democrats for his cool and caring competence. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has brought in Witt to help her with the recovery and reconstruction, a move that underscores the partisan animosity that has taken hold in the wake of the bungled relief efforts."

Ok, forget the fact that Hillary voted to have FEMA rolled into DHS, her touting of FEMA's record during hubby Bill's tenure has people in South Carolina seeing RED - vis, HUGO. Here's a bit of that story:

"FEMA Again Plays the Villain to Some Across Lowcountry; Hard feelings toward agency stirred up as residents watch familiar response. -- Hurricane Katrina is leaving one more big black blotch on the reputation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, vilified in the Lowcountry since Hurricane Hugo and frustrating residents as recently as Hurricane Gaston last year. The nation has watched in horror as New Orleans has descended into lawlessness and despair in the wake of Katrina. By most accounts, armed looters now roam the streets, while tens of thousands of thirsty and tired refugees wait in filthy conditions for transportation out of the flooded city... Katrina is worse than what Charleston saw after Hugo, where FEMA's response also trailed local efforts. Critics say the FEMA response for the new storm is just as slow as it was for Gaston last year. Local residents and officials watch it with reactions that range from disappointment to disgust.

"U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, now retired, used his political muscle to move military support instead behind [the mayor's] efforts. 'To me, it's a reminder that our country can do much better,' said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who led Charleston's response to Hugo in 1989. After Hugo devastated the counties around Charleston, local officials pleaded for emergency help and were told by agency officials strapped for money and personnel to apply through the governor."


Yeah, thanks Bill. By the way? Did you read about what Bill and Hillary were doing as the Hurricane chugged toward the 'Big Easy'?

Anyway.... Blanco's bringing in of Whitt may be welcome, but about 10,000 evacuees would have been happy if she would have let the Red Cross into the Dome. Would have been most helpful.

Or more blunt, as I read today, ""If Sen. Mary Landrieu were as good at busing black people to safety as she was at busing them to the polls to vote, none of them would have died."

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