Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bush Wants It Both Ways

Conservatives are in serious damage control mode, not used to the media not spreading their talking points without question. What is going on, they wonder. They knew they didn't have the New York Times editorial page, but now it appears they've even lost Tim Russert, John McLaughlin, Matt Cooper and Chris Matthews as well. Hey, guys, at least you still have Fred Barnes and [insert attractive female blond FoxNews anchor here.] The conservative spin machine is faithfully questioning the competency and readiness of the Mayor of New Orleans and Governor of Louisiana, and to be honest that's perfectly appropriate. I too would like an answer as to why hundreds of school buses that were allotted for evacuation in such a situation as Katrina were not used to get those that could not leave on their own the hell out.

But the idea that anyone would seek to shift blame from Bush to the local authorities...that Bush and the federal government in all its manifestations can somehow be said to be blameless...might actually exceed the level of absurdity I've come to expect in the era of Bush. What is the only thing that Bush ran on in 2004? Protecting the homeland. Republicans all across the nation sang Bush's praises as a strong leader in an era of unprecedented danger to our citizens at home. The Republican National Convention was a big ole circle jerk in which Republican after Republican assured us that Bush and Bush alone will protect us...no local authorities, no state authorities, and certainly no Democrats (John Kerry least of all)...only Bush. So now that Bush has had his first test of his homeland protection mettle, suddenly he's off the hook -- it's the state and local authorities who are responsible for protecting the people...big bad federal government shouldn't be relied upon for things like that...Bush is merely the president after all.

Of course conservatives will point to the outrage at the lack of federal response to Katrina in the media and claim liberal bias. What they really need to look at is the true root of the media coup that is taking place against the administration. The delayed response by the federal government at its core represents a broken covenant with the American people and the media is simply calling the president out on it. They are giving voice to millions of Americans who, if they could, would say to the president "You said you would protect us, Mr. President, and you let us down." After making such a promise, how dare conservatives now claim that protecting those that needed protection in New Orleans last week is out of the scope of the president's command or that of his reports. Clearly I never bought into Bush's claims that we'd be safer under his leadership, but even I felt a profound sense of disappointment last week. Maybe part of me did start to believe it, or at least hoped it was true.

You can't have it both ways, Mr. President. How dare you even try.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how dare conservatives now claim that protecting those that needed protection in New Orleans last week is out of the scope of the president's command or that of his reports

The US Constitution, legislation, regulations and supporting documentation (like the Federalist Papers) make the "claims" we dare to make statements of fact Todd.

If you had taken taken any sort of US Constitutional law/history class (where were you again when Paul, Chris and I were taking Advance Placement Constitutional History during our senior year at Prep?), you'd know this. There are safeguards in place that make it difficult, if not impossible, for the Federal Government to push aside State/Local governments and intrude into their jurisdictions.

Sure, President Bush could have swooped in, declared martial law, suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus, federalized the evacuation and relief effort and dropped in the active-duty military (btw, care to acknowledge how Bush asked Blanco to request such a federalization last Friday, and she refused?). Considering that only a few short months ago you were p*ssing your pants trying to infer that a couple of LAVs full of lost Marines on their way to a Veterans Day parade was a direct attempt by the President to put down dissent and protest, one can come up with a pretty good idea of what your response would have been.

What you are doing, Todd, is the worst kind of Monday morning quarterbacking, combined with ignorant partisan blamesmanship (directed towards Bush) and apologism (directed at the state/local governments).

The funny thing is that in your comments you are essentially advocating for a centralized, and very authoritarian, Federal response.

9:51 AM  

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