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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

White House under siege « Previous | |Next »
September 6, 2005

New Orleans sits in a bowl surrounded by levees, so when the levees break or are breached the soup bowl fills with water as Lake Pontchartrain drains into the bowl.

The flooding of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina disclosed that race determined who got left behind and that limited government means neglected infrastructure. The fallout from an devastated, abandoned New Orleans looks as if it will become a hinge event in the second term of the Bush Presidency.

The White House now faces a political crisis: the help came late and was limited.

WPC3.jpg
Stuart Carlson

Limited government plus incompetent public administration is a lethal combination. It may well leave a toxic wasteland of industrial compounds, sewerage and household chemicals mixed with the floodwaters.

The political climate has changed as the Republicans look vulnerable. The Rove spin machine is now in action to contain the political damage. The Rove strategy is to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana.

The machine has to spin that story because the earlier line of arguing for the impossibility of predicting what happened, was implausible.Washington knew Katrina would happen as they had ample warming. Lots of computer simulations of the flood from burstlevees had been run, whilst New Orleans was a classic case in civic disaster courses in American universities. Even though Louisana, Mississippi and Alabama are Republican territory, Republican Washington did nothing for too long.

Two interesting transcripts:

One is from msnbc.com's Meet the Press which I saw on television last night:

MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...

MR. RUSSERT: All right.

MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. (Broussard is crying)

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. President...

MR. BROUSSARD: Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.

Another is from Laura over at War and Piece who says that Dutch viewer Frank Tiggelaar writes:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.
More here

What was a natural devastation of the city from a hurricane quickly turned into a Hobbesian state of nature in which rescuers came under fire from snipers.

There is going to be lots of political reverberations from this event.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)
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