Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush in NOLA: While I said in comments earlier that I don't think it's fair to blame the administration for the chaos that's ensued in New Orleans, I will say that I think Bush has showed a pretty tin ear this week, the same one that he has for just about everything else. While I voted for him, and like him in some respects, he's just not good at showing that he's engaged in a situation. Every piece of information he gets must come in briefing papers.

Bush's greatest moment came after 9/11, when he went to ground zero and took the megaphone in his hand and showed his support for the people hurt there. It was powerful stuff, because it didn't come across as scripted or phony. Why he didn't make a similar show on, say, Wednesday, I don't know. I guess he's going to do that today, but it's too late. It'll come off all wrong, now.

It didn't take a genius to figure out that whatever Hurricane Plan was in place on Monday wasn't going to work on Tuesday. The flood petty much ruined any chance of commencing normal evacuation and cleanup activities. I don't find much fault with FEMA or others for not being able to execute as swiftly as desired. Nobody could have, not with any plan. You just can't plan for 8 feet of water.

But losing control of the security situation wasn't inevitable. Plenty of blame goes to Mayor Nagin, who I think has shown himself to be way over his head, and other local officials. The federal agencies deserve plenty of blame, as well, though. I think they all realize they dropped the ball, but they've picked it back up and are doing the best they can. More suffering ensued because of mistakes all around, but that's what happens with natural disasters.

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