Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Katrina Summation

I am sick and tired of this blame game. My sense is that the Dems are starting to overreach and appear opportunistic. The GOP has been clearly, immorally, spinning blame to the locals (who sure as hell aren't blameless in all this).

But I'm tired of it. So, to help us all move on, allow me to summarize the most important points in this, and then be done with it. I promise it's the last I'll post on the topic of who's most at fault for the post-disaster disaster.

1. The Mayor and Governor - knowing a storm of historical proportions was approaching - should've/could've done more to get the remaining 100k poor souls outta dodge. That is no one's fault but their own.

2. Once the Governor declared a State of Emergency (Aug 27, the Saturday before the storm hit - 2 days before the storm hit), the Federal Gov't - by the President's signature - assumed primary responsibility over disaster recovery. It's that simple. The Feds were numero uno.

Within the test, the Governor states:
I have determined that this incident is of such severity and
magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and
affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is
necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to
lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.

How can anyone argue that the Feds weren't in charge - even before Katrina hit?

3. Even without the State of Emergency, FEMA's central charter is in leading disaster recovery. Think they did a "helluva job"? Why not simply hold them to the standard set forth in their own mission statement.

4. Finally, expectations. We re-elected W last year because we trusted our security to him (at least more that the other guy). That was the primary reason he won - his commitment to national security and to effectively leading a response to any post-9/11 calamities. This was the first real test of that promise, of his government's competence, capacity, and capabilty to respond to just such a crisis. And they failed miserably.

I'll close by quoting Andrew Sullivan - because it is so simple, obvious, and accurate:

But the bottom line is that four years after 9/11, the feds aren't
ready for a major disaster.

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