Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Politicization of Katrina

I laid off of this topic as long as I could, but the Anti-Christ, taking the form of Kyra Phillips, has spurred me to finally try to tackle this very difficult issue. Forgive me if it runs a bit long, but it's a difficult subject, obviously.

Yesterday, I was reading Kevin Drum's post on Washington Monthly, asking for people to focus on the disaster, rather than the politics, of Katrina. While there were a few people that supported what he was asking, a majority of the 200 comments slammed Kevin, citing that his position was precisely why Democrats were losing elections.

While I initially agreed with Kevin, I have since become more and more angry. I want to honor the requests of bloggers like Paul at Wizbang who ask that we forget Left and Right and focus on how to solve the problems. Wizbang is a fueled by Conservatives who seems to make their bread and butter off of stoking fires between the Left and the Right, but as Paul says in his post:
Think about it for a second from my chair... (I'm not whining but) I'm almost 40 years old.... Here is the sum total of all my worldly possessions: 4 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of blue jeans, a box of family pictures, 2 flashlights, a piece of trench art my grandfather brought back from WWI and my father's hammer. (Hey, it means a lot to me!) That's it. Everything else is gone. And BTW, I'm unemployed.
Again, it's not about ignoring the shortcomings of the Bush Administration, but just holding off on saying "I told you so" until the water recedes a bit. OK, I can get behind that.

But now I'm just pissed off. On Monday, during the time that the worst storm to ever hit the United States was hitting New Orleans, this was the picture that the White House had front and center on their web site: And while columnists in Arizona questioned why Bush stayed in Arizona, the White House fully covered his visit.

On Tuesday, while the levies broke, New Orleans was swallowed, and the full impact of this disaster was being uncovered, photo ops were being arranged for President Bush as he continued his regular schedule:
So, while people are drowning in New Orleans, the Bush entourage is eating cake and playing the guitar. Lovely.

Well, yesterday afternoon it was announced that Bush was leaving Crawford two days early and "hurrying back to Washington" to head up relief efforts. The question in my mind is not really a political one, per se. It's simply this: If the President was capable of handling the relief efforts from Crawford, then why did he leave? And if it wasn't possible to manage from Crawford, then why didn't he leave PRIOR to the storm making landfall?!?

Fast forward to this afternoon - take a look at the White House web site. I defy you to find the "Let Them Eat Cake" photo now. In its place is the touching photo of a "concerned president" in his carefully orchestrated photo op, where he's looking OUT THE WINDOW at the devastation as he sails overhead: And remember, photos like these are not ones where a photographer happens to be sitting next to the President and "catches" a moment. No, these are photos where someone with the Press office invites photographers to come in and take photos at the chosen moment.

At this moment, the White House chose to politicize this disaster.

And from the moment that those photos were released to the press by the White House, Kyra Phillips bent over again and again and again, emphasizing the level to which this President was "in touch" with this devastating crisis.

Bullshit. And when the White House chooses to politicize the event, that's the moment where I call off the truce and ask the questions that NEED to be asked of this President. Actually, I'll link to Americablog's exhaustive post, so as not to double the length of this post.

The President is scheduled to be speaking from the Rose Garden in about an hour.

I can hardly wait.

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:56 PM /


  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 4:43 PM  
    This president is evil as a manipulated monkey can be...

    If I am so simple that I can't tell the difference between lying and telling stories is it really fair to call me a liar?

    If I just don't give a rat's ass what you think and knock you down and take your ipod because I want it ... does that make me a bad person?

    If I was president would I spend my time doing cool things and flying around the country lying to people about WWII and social security....or would I sit in an office and make phone call after phone call to coordinate relief efforts? BEEEEP - let's get on the plane!!

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 4:51 PM  
    This president is evil as a manipulated monkey can be...

    If I aMode=1

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 5:07 PM  
    That's a logical point you made about Bush calling off his vacation, and it does show that maybe he shouldn't have been there that long in the first place. He constantly gets a pass when people say that he can still work on vacation. I tackled this subject on my own site, but chose to relate it to his vacation prior to 9/11. Check it out.

  • Blogger Marco Polo posted at 7:47 PM  
    A politician... politicized an event. So what else is new? That doesn't mean the rest of us have to, tho.

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