Saturday, September 3


I have a thought to add to this post by Kos:

We have two competing world views in American politics. The first says that government cannot help people. That government must be as small as possible, and exists only to provide security from external enemies. The other says that government can be a force for good and can help make people's lives better.

This week, we are seeing the effects of the lack of government. The American people are seeing what happens when the GOP worldview is dominant. We've talked about the two disasters -- the hurricane itself, which was unavoidable, and the response to the hurricane and lack of leadership, which was.

We are seeing a third disaster -- the conservative world view itself, crashing and burning as reality meets ideology. Where government programs are slashed in the name of Norquist's drownable government, only to see an entire major city wiped off the face of the map as a result.
[emphasis mine]

Forget "government programs" and the second world view. If conservatives believe that government "exists only to provide security from external enemies," the Bush administration has failed in the single government function that conservatives acknowledge as proper. Hurricane Katrina was certainly an "external enemy" and yet the federal government has not provided security for the residents of New Orleans and has been achingly slow to respond to the effects of the storm's aftermath. And as right-wing pundits attempt to divert blame to local and state governments, they cannot deny that, as AmericaBlog points out, the federal government agency of Homeland Security is charged with "primary responsibility for any natural disaster or large-scale emergency."

But I don't expect the 30% of Americans who harbor an irrational love for and loyalty to George Dubya to admit to ANY failure on his or his administration's part. I've heard too often in the past few days their dismay and disgust at the situation in the Gulf Coast turn to indignation when confronted with any criticism of their hero. NOTHING is the man's fault. After all, he's led by God. It's always someone else's failure or an inaccurate analysis.

For instance, a Republican friend of mine and I were watching on CNN at lunch on Wednesday the big press conference Bush and buddies conducted. The EPA chief announced that he was waiving restrictions on air standards to encourage more oil production. When I asked, "How's that? How is that going to help oil production? Sounds like Bush opportunism at play again, taking advantage of the situation to give another break to the oil companies," she replied, "There must be some reason. He wouldn't have done it otherwise." This, from someone who thirty minutes earlier had been cringing at the video of her former neighborhood in New Orleans under water and practically in tears of anger at the condition of the people there.


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