Monday, September 12, 2005
Is it time to assess blame?
If those words were aptly applied to George W. Bush, we'd already have heard the results...
"I was unaware of the magnitude of the crisis. Those who were supposed to alert me have been severely disciplined. I'm sorry."
For a strong, capable leader in Bush's position, these words would already be true. We wouldn't be hearing, over and over, that it's not time to assess blame. You see, no matter what anyone else did wrong, it's clear that Bush ignored the problem while the waters rose and people died, and it's clear that FEMA was not ready, willing, and able to dive in (metaphorically speaking) and get things done.
Even if everyone else at every level, flubbed everything else, the federal government dropped the ball as well.
Maybe the feds couldn't have helped. The point is, until it was inexcusably late in the game, they weren't even *trying*.
Sure, there's a big blame pie here, and lots of people deserve a heaping big piece of it, but, earmarked somewhere is a piece labelled "federal response", and I hope no one lets the feds try to slip it on to someone else's plate.
Just remember that, and watch this space; as news comes in, I'm more than willing to cut off a big slice of the blame pie (that tastes suspiciously of crow...) for the city response in New Orleans, and the state response in Louisiana... fair is fair.
Nevertheless, it still sickens me that, as people were dying, Presidential aides were debating who had to deliver the bad news, that the Presidential vacation would be cut short. It sickens me more than it took so long to get the feds moving, when they had plenty of warning.
But nothing sickens me quite so much as "let's not assess blame yet".
It takes a man to admit to mistakes. Do we have a man in the White House?