Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Horror and Blame [Updated]

Discussions throughout the blogosphere (and increasingly in the MSM) focus on these two things, and interspersed throughout are suggestions that we "shouldn't make this political - yet". While I understand the propriety and urgency of focusing our energies on rescuing survivors and stabilizing the affected areas, I strongly disagree with the plea to save our criticisms for a more palatable time.

Part of our basic coping mechanisms include creating a psychological distance from tragedy. For those of us not on the Gulf coast, this can be accomplished by a few hours away from the news (and closing our eyes at the gas pump). Trouble is, this distance is invariably accompanied by a selective amnesia. After all, who honestly wants to go to sleep tonight shuffling through images of distraught survivors, obliterated towns and floating corpses? However, in the reach for some degree of peace in the aftermath, we cannot forget that the damage to New Orleans could have been mitigated.

Funding for the Iraqi invasion did not fall from the sky. Money has been diverted from countless federal programs, including COE levee repair and flood control projects in and around New Orleans. The Louisiana press has been highly vocal throughout the last 18 months over their critically underfunded SELA efforts, but it was not until now that this shortfall has come to national attention.

[Update: DWCG has done the homework on researching these funding cuts, bless him. For background material, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Alternatively, for a good summary, and useful links out to more coverage, see Hunter's diary here.]

In the jingoistic zeal to greenlight the building of G.W.'s Islamic Republic, the Bush administration and its Congressional supporters have redirected billions from critical domestic programs across the board. I shudder to think what else is withering as we speak, and getting little to no attention outside of the tiny local papers that follow the funding blackouts.

I don't want people to forget in the coming weeks that some of the horrific damage from Katrina could have been prevented. I want the people that voted for Bush and his war to know that they are the unwitting accomplices in the destruction of one of the most magnificent cities on earth. I want them to take this to heart when it's the most uncomfortable, the most difficult and consequently, the most memorable.

We can blame and vilify Bush for the next hundred years, but he is not a squatter in the White House. 51% of the voting public sent him there. The twin disasters of Iraq and Katrina are their reckoning.

Sweet dreams.


Geo_Chick said...

Actually Bush lost the popular vote, but won in the electoral college. I do believe he is a sqatter. He won on a decision made by judges. Judges, many of which were placed on the bench by his dad as pres and VP. One who hunts with Cheney, several who are family friends. I still shudder at the fact that so many people are fooled into believing he was legitamately placed in the white house.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Judges in 2000, 51% of the popular vote in 2004. After the last election, IMO we don't get to moan about the court appointment anymore. Voters put him there. Willingly. Knowingly.

knarf said...

First, glad to find you. Second, I'll wait a few before I jump on the "its all their fault" bandwagon as far as SELA is concerned. But am all aboard the bandwagon as far as Chimpy's actions over the last few days are concerned. Cmon? Guitar? Pro-war speeches? PEOPLE ARE DYING IN THEIR ATTICS ASSHOLE.

For the other comments. I agree with you about the Chimp getting elected one and a half times. But as far as letting him fill the bench with whomever just because he got a "mandate". Uh-uh. He can nominate but we can dissent and Congress can deny if they hear our unified voice saying "hey you know what? Roberts is almost as scary as the one who brung him!"

Look forward to reading ur blog regularly. Seen you on MLW but tonite is first appearance at your own personal melting pot of topics. So long then and good luck and keep cantanking.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Welcome to the fray, Knarf.

And just to be clear -- by no means do I think Bush can just do as he pleases touting the "mandate" meme. Far from it. Every day I find another reason to loathe this man and his dim-witted policies.

While I appreciate the more constructive voices that say "enough rage, what's your solution?" I feel like there are far too many sleeping citizens that need to be shaken from their complacency -- lest we end up with GW II in '08.

Thus, I scream.

Thanks for the visit, hope you stay a while.

les said...

I love it; "oh, don't bash him now, he's being presidential and solving a crisis"; not that I think he's solved anything yet, nor will. But the first line will rapidly be followed by, "oh, that's all old hat, who cares we have to deal with taday's problem." And never mind that bushco is in no small part responsible for the problem, and in no way competent to solve it.