While Bush was pushing medicare, New Orleans
was facing Katrina, bereft of funds, Guardsmen
George Bush spent today making a ridiculous analogy between WWII and Iraq. He also played golf, got a guitar and slept well.
Meanwhile New Orleans is turning into a city of refugees. Even those who escaped are now running out of money and places to stay. Those stuck in the city may well die if a major rescue effort isn't launched, major being Navy amphibious vehicles and landing craft to get thousands of people to higher ground.
The military and FEMA will have to build refugee camps, because most of New Orleans will have to be rebuilt. The buildings are no longer habitable in most of the city.
We are not talking a small tent city either, but massive places built to hold people for months, maybe years. The scale of this disaster is on the scale of a major invasion or occupation. Understand this: the New Orleans of Marti Gras and Jazz and Heritage is gone, forever.
The city is underwater, not for days, but maybe weeks or months, with a toxic brew of chemicals making most of the buildings toxic waste containers.
So how does Bush lead, by avoiding the topic, except for platiudes. He didn't even stop his vacation until the scale of the disaster was clear.
Bush thinks leadership is sounding tough and ignoring all sound advice. It isn't. And when people like Kevin Drum call for "not politicizing" this, he provides more cover for Bush's failed leadership. The disaster in New Orleans was made worse by politics and it will be solved by politics.
Bush's leadership in times of crisis has been rote and weak. He seems to think his mere presence is leadership and it is not. He has been led to think President is a synonym for leader and it is not.
He should have flown home immediately and run this like any military operation. Donald Rumsfeld should not have been cheering him along, but helping to direct as many resources as possible to New Orleans.
Time and again, Bush uses invective and character assassination instead of actually leading people. If he cannot step to the plate now, he is condeming thousands to death.
posted by Steve @ 1:34:00 AM