Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Orleans and the liberals

The effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are shocking in their scope. It will take a concentrated effort over an extended period of time to accomplish a recovery.

For many liberals, however, the storm damage simply provided another opportunity to bash conservatives and President George W. Bush.

Perhaps the first attack was launched by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in The Huffington Post. This bizarre piece blamed Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour for the fact the Katrina took dead aim on Mississippi; somehow equating some prior memorandum Barbour wrote opposing the Kyoto "global warming" treaty as incurring the wrath of God. (The Kyoto treaty was designed to marginally reduce carbon dioxide emissions from selected countries but required no reductions or even controls on emissions from such major countries as India and China. Anyone who has ever been in Wal-Mart can understand that China has a large and growing economy and failure to consider it in any kind of environmental program is simply foolhardy). The Kennedy piece was written before New Orleans was inundated due to levee breaks. Kennedy provided the following update "[UPDATE: Alas, the reprieve for New Orleans was only temporary. But Haley Barbour still has much to answer for.]" Of course, using Kennedy logic, one might conclude that the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, decided to increase the pain on New Orleans residents in response to Kennedy's irresponsible comment.

But the Kennedy comment was just the beginning. Although emergency response is clearly a primarily local and state responsibility, the liberal mainstream media were quick to attack the Bush administration, ignoring as much as possible the clear incompetence of those such as the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana. Obviously, those folks were not elected based on their skills in handling emergency situations.

The media have had been trying to ignore some pretty strong pieces of evidence that point to local and state officials as the key contributors to the chaos we have all seen. Local officials told New Orleans residents weeks before the storm that they would be on their own in the event of a major storm. Subsequently, they waffled about whether to order an evacuation and, when they finally did so, instructed folks with no means out of the area to come to the Superdome which apparently had no food, drinking water, or even remotely adequate facilities. News cameras have continued to show a large parking lot filled with school buses that are mostly under water, begging the question as to why they weren't used by local authorities to evacuate residents. This is one oversight that is going to be hard to blame on Bush so don't expect to hear about it from the major networks.

Recent news has the mayor of New Orleans now deciding that he is now really, really serious about his evacuation order and intends to forcibly remove folks who don't want to leave. He has also gone back and forth about how looters should be dealt with. This sort of waffling may appeal to the liberal media as it is sure reminiscent of John Kerry.

So far the liberal media attacks on Bush do not seem to have swayed public opinion. It looks like the liberal attempts to exploit Katrina may be no more effective that their attempts to exploit crazy Cindy Sheehan (who seems to have drifted so far from reality that her media entourage has evaporated).


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