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View Diary: Katrina, Politics and Iraq (173 comments)

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  •  Yes Armando (none)
    you are (ouch, ouch, this hurts) right.

    Ultimately, Katrina will, I think, bring the Bush Administration to it's knees.  But we need to hold our fire to the appropriate moment.

    When is that?  I'm not sure I know.  Certainly, we need an accounting of the dead, injured, and displaced.  It may be days, it may be a week or two, but it's coming.

    Also, let's try to keep our attacks factual and supportable.  By going of the deep end with unprovable, or unprovable-sounding, theories we will weaken the tidal surge of facts that will, I hope, wash the stain of the Bush Administration from the body politic.

    George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

    by LarryInNYC on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 08:36:45 PM PDT

    •  your instinct is right (none)
      Your instinct is right.

      Katrina is not going away.  Right now Bush can marshall some resources.  It's late, he should have already done it, he's a liar and a loser.  We all know that.

      But for now he is on top of a huge organization with tons of resources.  In that capacity we should root for him to pull off a turn around of organization and leadership.

      The coming weeks and months will highlight again and again his failures: of stragetgy, of funding, of priorities, of vision, of imagination, of character.

      There is literally nothing to be gained running around saying things that will be misinterruptered as "Bush caused Katrina" or "Bush killed my grandmother".

      A big issue that will emerge is the probable thousands who lost their lives because they improperly believed they could ride out the storm, light some candles, listen to some old records, and hang out for a few days.   Attempting to pin their deaths on Bush is arrogant and bound to be seen a macebre politics at its worse.  

      •  Katrina in Some Degree... (4.00)
        is the ultimate logical outcome of the modern GOP vision.  All those concepts that we've seen play out at large in the Bush regime:  "small government," "local resources," "money for military and homeland security - screw the infrastructure," "tax reductions" "political appointments based on nepotism rather than merit" - In an mind-numbingly tragic way, this is the perfect storm outcome.  No federal leadership, no resources, just a huge sucking vacuum...and we are like deer caught in the headlights.  

        "We're all working for the Pharoh" - Richard Thompson

        by mayan on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 08:56:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And to not highlight (4.00)
          This major philosophical difference at a time where the nation must absolutely ante up to repair a city in a state that lacks the resources to do it alone would be political negligent to our cause and the effort of rebuilding New Orleans and Biloxi.

          DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

          by DWCG on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 09:04:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  absolutely (none)
            I am not saying don't do it.  Just that now when people are still trapped in houses and on rooftops is probably not a good idea.

            New Orleans is going to be screwed long after the water goes down.  There will be plenty, plenty, plenty of time to nail Bush for his failures.

        •  Nobody is this incompetent (none)
          They completely flat-footed this disaster.  What were they waiting for?  A gov't of any size puts a contingency plan in place to sure up infrastructure and place resources for rescue and relief where it's needed the most.  Yes, NOLA is our Holland, but neglect and inaction will bear some potent fruit for this singularly inept administration.  Watch the GOP's handling of critics turn off a lot of people.  This was/is an epic error.
    •  We can take our cue from Mayor Nagin (4.00)
      who was reported today as saying that funds were diverted from levee reconstruction to Iraq. When he and Landrieu start vocalizing their criticisms we need to have their backs.
      •  Everyone's number one job-reverse global warming (none)
        The effort to silence, to ruin science is not because of Darwin and evolution, it is because of global warming.  Everyone's number one job has to be to reverse global warming in order to stop the methane release in Alaska and Siberia or hurricanes specifically will get ever larger and more numerous. So to save ourselves, our loved ones and our planet, we should and must criticize strongly the lack of attention and problems solving needed to prevent our own extinction.

        Because they do not understand.

        Bush 1 was criticized for his bad job performance during a Florida hurricane (FEMA appointee was not a professional in emergency management which was critical).

        Jeb says no such thing as global warming after Florida got run over by 4 hurricanes last year.

        Below is Michael Moore's collection of Bush 2 blunders.

        from
        http://www.michaelmoore.com/mustread/
        Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

        When the Levee Breaks:

        "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."
        -- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

        Here's the Story of a Hurricane:

        The Gulf Coast wetlands form a "natural buffer that helps protect New Orleans from storms," slowing hurricanes down as they approach from sea. When he came into office, President Bush pledged to uphold the "no net loss" wetland policy his father initiated. He didn't keep his word. Bush rolled back tough wetland policies set by the Clinton administration, ordering federal agencies "to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands and an untold number of waterways nationwide." Last year, four environmental groups issued a joint report showing that administration policies had allowed "developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands."

        Flood Control:

        Decades of flood-control efforts to protect New Orleans and other places, combined with the region's huge oil and gas investments, have contributed heavily to the destruction of coastal wetlands that can help tame the fury of storms like Hurricane Katrina, say scientists and government officials.

        Louisiana's governor says everyone must leave New Orleans as Day Two gets worse. The refugees currently in the Superdome will be sent temporarily to Houston's Astrodome.

        President Bush -- who is almost done with his vacation (he'll be back at the White House late this afternoon) -- will release oil from America's strategic reserves.

        The Mayor of New Orleans says there are too many people giving orders. The levee breach that allowed the lake to spill into the city's business district was supposed to be sandbagged yesterday but it never happened:

        According to the mayor, Black Hawk helicopters were scheduled to pick up and drop massive 3,000-pound sandbags in the 17th Street Canal breach, but were diverted on rescue missions. Nagin said neglecting to fix the problem has set the city behind by at least a month.

        many blue, yellow and green dogs are a majority

        by Prove Our Democracy with Paper Ballots on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 09:38:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  With all the corporateering (none)
      and War reconstruction corruption going on in the Oval Office since 2001, it wouldn't be a surprise if this "woman" brought the Bush Administration to its knees.
    •  "the appropriate moment" (4.00)
      is now.  Why on Earth would you want to cut Bush any slack . . . cover his ass, as it were?  Every damn thing should have his name on it . . . failed levees, slashed FEMA, no real "Homeland Security", no "energy policy" . . . all of it.

      You sound like the "don't criticize the President while we're at war" crowd . . . like "give him a few more years to sort things out and then you can criticize" (in a history book).

      The meme is simple, direct, and now.  Katrina is not Bush's fault.  Failure to prepare for Katrina, and the unnecessary death and devastation that resulted, is Bush's fault and NO statement about any part of the unfolding tragedy should omit that fact.

      The "appropriate moment" is now and forever.

      •  No. . . (none)
        Why on Earth would you want to cut Bush any slack . . . cover his ass, as it were?  . . . You sound like the "don't criticize the President while we're at war" crowd

        I want to see this bring down the Bush Administration, or at least reduce them to sufficient irrelevancy that they lose control of the policy making appartus.

        To do so, we need to avoid shooting off our ammunition when it won't do any good but rather keep our powder dry until we see the whites of their eyes.  That will be in a matter of days.

        Right now, Bush is doing our work for us.

        (But, notice, that when it does become time to start firing, we need to do so mercilessly.  After 9/11 the first reaction to Bush was extremely negative from both the right and the left.  Then, we gave him time to regroup.  We must not make that mistake this time).

        George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

        by LarryInNYC on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 09:23:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "giv[ing] him time to regroup" (4.00)
          is exactly what you are proposing.

          People are asking "why did this happen, why is this happining" now . . . and we should be giving the answers now:

          We were unprepared for Katrina because:

          Bush wanted tax cuts for the rich, and

          Bush wanted a war on Iraq (for no reason or benefit except, perhaps, to Israel), and

          Bush wants "small government", not effective and humanitarian government.

          Why would you wait even a minute to say any of that ? ? ?

          •  because (none)
            Because people are trapped on the roof right now.  Bush has the power to marshall resources and support to save lives.  Will that give him some temporary political help?  Yes.  Will you have plenty of time to make him pay for his foolish policies?  Absolutely.  New Orleans is wrecked, and that's not going to change tomorrow, next week, or next month.

            There is no upside for slamming Bush and his agencies and leadershp at a time when we need those agencies and leadership to save real lives.

            In two weeks his failures will be even more evident.  Already pouncing hard is being taken as democrats blaming Bush for the hurricane itself.  That's not a good strategy.

            •  What are you really saying? (none)
              "There is no upside for slamming Bush and his agencies and leadershp at a time when we need those agencies and leadership to save real lives."

              I'm still not quite getting it.

              Are you saying that if we criticise the planning effort at this stage, that the agencies and leadership will stop doing their jobs and people will die?

              There's something about this that I'm just not getting.

              •  close (none)
                I am saying that right now 100% of all energies need to be focused on rescue, mitigation, and immediate needs and as the weeks go on, rebuilding and repair.  

                Starting a big media theme about how this is all Bush's fault, or how Bush could have prevented some of the side effects, etc will be taken as "Bush could have prevented the hurricane".  Right now there are a lot of people who need assistance from the government, and having them thinking that the government is the source of their problem will make things even worse.  Half of the problem right now is that people didn't listen to the government in the fist place.  The last thing we need now is the devaluing of the governments authority and directives.

                •  No, that makes no sense. (none)
                  Preparation for this has been utterly bungled. You're saying pitch in and help recover from the bungling, yes, that's necessary.

                  But the time to start taking actions to replace the bunglers is now.

                  We're going to have people making heroic actions to rescue victims. Those people are heroes. The people who made the heroic actions more necessary than they had to be -- those are bums.

                  It's past time to stop giving Bush the benefit of the doubt.

                  •  whats the difference (none)
                    Whats the difference in doing it in 3 weeks instead of today?

                    There is nothing to gain but political ends, and much to lose.

                    •  Nothing to lose (none)
                      Go read LGF or a Freepers site and tell me they aren't already politicising it.
                      •  so (none)
                        They are.  They are wrong.  Are you wrong also?  That's the question here.  Will you be on the wrong side, or the correct side?
                        •  "I'd rather be right than President." (none)
                          Dan, the question is no longer right and wrong. The question is "Does it work?".

                          We've been decent. Through two presidencial elections, decency has failed us.

                          We've been reasonable. Being reasonable failed.

                          The only important issue this country faces is to get rid of enough hack incumbents to impeach Bush.

                          This is the first order of business. Is there something you want the federal government to accomplish? Sorry, Charlie. It isn't going to happen until afterward.

                          If you want to argue that being nice to Bush is the right thing to do, tell me how it speeds up the impeachment process. Persuade me that criticising Bush will delay the impeachment process by one single day and I'll instantly stop.

                          •  stop (none)
                            Dan, the question is no longer right and wrong.
                            Sorry.  That is the only question.  What is RIGHT and what is WRONG.  

                            If you want to argue that being nice to Bush is the right thing to do, tell me how it speeds up the impeachment process.
                            This isn't about Bush, or you, or your political goals.  That's the whole point.  This about people who are actually suffering.

                            When you ignore what is right and wrong you are irrelevant to me.

                            When your party starts doing what is RIGHT people will flock to it.  Driving people from Bush is only half the battle.  

                          •  You have lost reality. (none)
                            If it isn't about Bush, it isn't about the federal government.

                            You want the federal government to do something right? That's a political goal. It won't happen until you get rid of Bush.

                            If you want to discuss the correct way to be a good christian while being persecuted by the imperial government, go ahead. That's valid topic for discussion. But I'm not up for that one. My topic is throw out the incumbent hacks and impeach Bush/Cheney.

                            If you want to say that criticising Bush means he'll allocate less resources to the catastrophe and more people will die, that's a sort of blackmail I can't give in to.

                          •  well fine (none)
                            If you want to say that criticising Bush means he'll allocate less resources to the catastrophe and more people will die, that's a sort of blackmail I can't give in to.
                            Well fine.  I hope you like blood on your hands.

                            Like you can't wait two weeks.  His numbers are tanking and people are realizing organically that he's incompetent.  Running around barfing about him needing to be impeached makes you look foolish.

                            People are smart.  They'll know.  You just don't want to miss your golden opportunity.  Because you put your political goals above all else.

                            The fact is and remains that right now Bush is the only way to get anything done in NO.  Instead of helping you are personally hurting the effort to save lives and prevent more death.  

                            The world obviously revolves around you and your goals in your head.  Far be it from me or anyone else to suggest that it may be better to keep it under your hat until all the bodies are buried.  

                          •  I keep thinking you might make your point (none)
                            "The fact is and remains that right now Bush is the only way to get anything done in NO.  Instead of helping you are personally hurting the effort to save lives and prevent more death."

                            You keep sort of circling around it without saying it.

                            Are you telling me that if I criticise Bush, he'll withhold aid to NO to punish democrats?

                            See, Bush isn't actually in the loop. It isn't like what he does has any direct effect on rescue operations, unless he tells people not to do things.

                            The people who're doing the work really ought to be ignoring any criticism of their actions, they need to be busy doing the best they can, and look at the post mortems later.

                            So how is it that criticising Bush for the mismanagement and misbudgeting that put us where we are now, how is that going to hurt the effort?

                            Unless it persuades Bush to punish the innocent?

                          •  no (none)
                            See, Bush isn't actually in the loop. It isn't like what he does has any direct effect on rescue operations, unless he tells people not to do things.
                            Wait.  The whole two-disaster concept relies on the fact that the second disaster is bushes fault for poor leadership.  You can't go back on that now!

                            So how is it that criticising Bush for the mismanagement and misbudgeting that put us where we are now, how is that going to hurt the effort?
                            Good question, let me try one more time.

                            I am all for nailing him for his failures, as I've said before.  Go for it.  Get the jugular.  I am just saying that doing now hampers his ability to lead, and does so for a number of reasons.

                            For one, he needs all hands.  He's an idiot.  He can't do more than one thing. His political wing is the only wing.

                            Second, he is in charge of a massive appartus.  His ability to act as head of that appartus comes only from a position of apparent power.  If he is apparently weakened he cannot control the appartus.  One thing that was always great about Clinton was the he always appeared to be in control.  He was smooth and collected.  Bush can't the stress of the vicious criticism he deserves.  Clinton could.  He could recognize mistakes, learn, change tactics as needed, and go forward stronger than before.  That makes Bush the worst president in history.  

                            Finally, most people on dkos can understand the "two disasters" theory, but already the talk is that the democrats are saying that the "hurrican is Bush's fault".  That's how it's going to sound at this point.  Obviously this is not the argument, but that's how it sounds.  And that perception is damamging to people who are now homelesses, jobless, and hungry.  

                            November rolls around, pound the shit of the idiot.  Get in gear and let it rip for 12 straight months.  Take out ads, do letters to the editors, etc.  

                            But for now - although it's to late the damage on this issue is done - it would be better just to wait.  His fuckup isn't going away.  It's not going to be done with.  NO isn't going to be better in a few days.  It's just going to get worse.

                          •  You seem to be heavy on the symbolism. (none)
                            "The whole two-disaster concept relies on the fact that the second disaster is bushes fault for poor leadership.  You can't go back on that now!"

                            What? He cut funding. He chose incompetent hirelings to gut FEMA etc. He sent the experienced disaster-relief guys to iraq. And now you want him to do some mystical "leadership" that's supposed to make a difference?

                            "If he is apparently weakened he cannot control the appartus."

                            Ah.... Do you think the massive apparatus of disaster relief will work better with Bush leading it than it would on auto-pilot? Have you seen something that gives you that idea?

                            "His political wing is the only wing."

                            Yes, you understand that. There's no way to keep it from being political with him. So your advice makes no sense whatsoever.

                            "... already the talk is that the democrats are saying that the "hurrican is Bush's fault".  That's how it's going to sound at this point."

                            Of course. That's republican spin control. Do you think if we just politely give them a few months head start that they'll be polite back? You think they won't use their headstart to the ultimate? Give them time, and if you say anything about the hurricane that isn't praising Bush even normal people will tend to hear you saying the hurricane was Bush's fault. These guys are good that way. They aren't good at anything but spin, but they're real good at that.

                            Your stand makes no sense. It's like you're going into a boxing ring, and somebody gives you the advice, "Don't hit back the first few rounds, the audience wouldn't like it. Just stand there with your arms down and let him hit you for four rounds and then in the fifth round you can hit back as hard as you like."

                          •  it;s not a game (none)
                            It's like you're going into a boxing ring, and somebody gives you the advice, "Don't hit back the first few rounds, the audience wouldn't like it. Just stand there with your arms down and let him hit you for four rounds and then in the fifth round you can hit back as hard as you like."
                            It's not a game!  It's not a contest!  It's human lives!  Real people!

                            Real people!

                            So what - bush gets a pass for 5 weeks.  SO WHAT.  So his machine goes on the offensive for a few weeks.

                            SO WHAT.

                            If it was your life, would it be worth it?  Because that's what at stake here.

                            Politics, or life.  Bush will choose Politics, because that's who he is.

                            The question is not what would Bush do, but what will WE do.

                            My opinion is that I support the President's efforts to provide relief and shelter for those in need.

                          •  That's a nonsequitur. (none)
                            Of COURSE we want Bush to approve further relief efforts. What possible justification could he have for not doing that?

                            How can he possibly justify the inaction so far?

                            "Oh, we aren't allowed to help because the governor hasn't gotten around to giving us permission."

                            Look -- when the tsumani hit, Bush made a token donation. And after he got a lot of criticism, he scrounged up some more aid.

                            Do you think he'll do less if he gets criticised this time, or more?
                            Look -- people's lives are at stake. And the only thing that can get Bush to give the federal government permission to help is massive criticism.

                            And you want to play nice-nice until after the crisis is over because you don't want to accept a political advantage. It's people like you who're responsible for Bush being president in the first place.

                          •  and it's (none)
                            It's people like you who're responsible for Bush being president in the first place.
                            It's people like yourself who have caused the DNC to shed voters that would have always gone traditionally the democrat candidate.  

                            It's absurd.  It's shooting yourself in the foot.  Bush is falling on his face, and the only thing slowing him down is people like yourself shouting about impeachment.  

                            It's a crisis and all you can talk about is politics.  

                          •  You're almost there (none)
                            So, tell me, why would otherwise-sensible voters listen to the Swiftboaters and it gets them to vote for Bush, but they listen to me and it gets them to vote for Bush?

                            What are the scummy republicans doing right that I'm doing wrong?

                          •  You're almost there (none)
                            So, tell me, why would otherwise-sensible voters listen to the Swiftboaters and it gets them to vote for Bush, but they listen to me and it gets them to vote for Bush?

                            What are the scummy republicans doing right that I'm doing wrong?

                          •  what? (none)
                            What are the scummy republicans doing right that I'm doing wrong?
                            It's mostly just demographics.  The democrat base has been shrinking unionized households have dropped, blacks a % of the population has dropped, self-identified catholics have dropped, etc.  
                          •  So why does it hurt you and doesn't hurt them? (none)
                            They politicise everything, and lie about it.

                            I want to point out political implications on this one thing while it's still news, and you say it will hurt democrats.

                            Do you have an argument why it would hurt democrats?

                          •  yes absolutely (none)
                            Do you have an argument why it would hurt democrats?
                            Many people around assume that because Bush's numbers are falling Democrats numbers are rising.

                            This is not automatically true.  Sometimes it is, but often, well, very often, it is not.  

                            This disaster is obviously worsened by Bush; and time will show that.  Going on TV and bitching about what a loser Bush only causes people to be defensive about the man.  Every democrat worth his/her salt in the country hate GWB already; the point is that the Republicans have to start to hate him as well to make any progress whatsoever, in anyway.

                          •  I still don't get it. (none)
                            It sounds like you're saying if we actually point out what Bush has done wrong, it will make "people" be "defensive".

                            But if we don't point out the problems, people will eventually notice the problems for themselves.

                            Why would you expect people would notice Bush's idiocy quicker with nobody replying to the spinmasters?

                            When somebody starts a chain letter and a lot of idiots think they can each make hundreds of thousands of dollars from it, do you think the'd figure it out quicker if nobody told them?

                            Would people understand about Scientology quicker if nobody exposed it?

                          •  reponse (none)
                            It sounds like you're saying if we actually point out what Bush has done wrong, it will make "people" be "defensive".
                            Yes.

                            But if we don't point out the problems, people will eventually notice the problems for themselves.
                            Yes.

                            Why would you expect people would notice Bush's idiocy quicker with nobody replying to the spinmasters?
                            Why quicker?  Because when partisan hacks start yammering people shutdown.  The same cast of clowns protest everything Bush does, at all times, regardless of merit.  When these people are yammering people shutdown and become dogmatic.

                            It's already happened.  It's too lote, this conversation is already over.  People choose your approach, and now, as predicted, people have shutdown.  Most people do not associate this disaster with Bush.  

                            Partisnship is infectious.  Once the same old cast of clowns starts yelping it's over - the battle is lost.

                          •  Partisanship doesn't have to be infectious. (none)
                            "Partisnship is infectious.  Once the same old cast of clowns starts yelping it's over - the battle is lost."

                            Suppose you're right. And suppose by some wondrous chance everybody on your side understood and agreed and stayed quiet while people listened to the propaganda and figured it out for themselves.

                            If you're right, all the propagandists have to do is play both sides themselves. Some of them can pose as Bush supporters and others can pose as stupid Bush opponents, and that's enough to get regular people to shut down and ignore all the problems.

                            So your solution was never a workable solution.

                            Any other ideas? We need something that can work even when fanatics are yammering on two sides.

                          •  no (none)
                            If you're right, all the propagandists have to do is play both sides themselves. Some of them can pose as Bush supporters and others can pose as stupid Bush opponents, and that's enough to get regular people to shut down and ignore all the problems.
                            Except that if the liberal/progressive voices shut down, and let bush pretend to be a leader, and hey, even get a bounce for some short period of time, Bush wont want to stick his puppets all over the place yammering.

                            It was workable, it happened after 9/11 to great effect.

                            Bush was an idiot to failed to prevent 9/11.  Fool.  Moron.  Yet criticism was bit for a few weeks, and it was for the greater good of the country.

                          •  You cllaim that what happened after 9/11 was good? (none)
                            What would have been worse?
                          •  it was! (none)
                            it was better than Katrina!

                            worse would have been nothing.

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