15 Jan 2006

Katrina in Perspective

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The MSM had a field day emoting over the disaster, misreporting, and blaming Bush. Lisa of Bohemian Conservative links an illuminating perspective by Wilfred M. McClay:

Anyone who has ever lived in New Orleans recognizes the state of mind that prevailed before Katrina. That something like this could happen, and probably would happen, was utterly common knowledge. Equally known was that local officials were too corrupt and incompetent to manage a catastrophe. But a combination of fatalism and denial, and a good stiff drink, always served to banish the reality principle.

4 Feedbacks on "Katrina in Perspective"


Sure it was known that the levees would only hold up to a catergory 3 storm surge. Do you think the city had the means to do anything about it? To restore the lost coastal region and upgrade the levees would cost billions. Our national politicians have been trying for YEARS (and several presidential terms, both Republican and Democrat) to get the city better protected. Well, now it is too late and even more billions will have to be spent to correct the “head in the sand attitude ” the government has demonstrated. And, by the way, now it has been shown that the levee that broke that resulted in 80% of the floooding failed at a catergory one conditions. These levees were designed and built solely under the aegis of the Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency. And before you start with the federal vs. local responsibility debate, I want to let you know I am a conservative Republican who voted straight party lines for years. The city of New Orleans is democratic in its outlook. Most of the more conservative population has gone to the suburbs in other parishes years ago. But we are all New Orleaneans first. If the government keeps up it’s totally incompetent handling of this disaster you can write LA off in the next presidential campaign because the anger is white hot. The solid south will be a thing of the past. MS will follow close behind.

Rodger Kamenetz

Thanks for the dumb ill-informed comment. Nothing like generalizing about the psychology of an entire city, which includes a very diverse population of rich and poor, black and white, etc. But smug people love to justify their smugness with sweeping generalizations.
Bush got blamed because the Federal government fucked up. Does anyone doubt that? The levees broke. That was Federal responsibility. FEMA is a joke. That’s also Federal responsibility.
Conservatives used to take responsibility. Now they lecture other people about it.


By all means, let’s continue to ignore the real definition of responsibility itself. Focusing blame on the federal government while effectively absolving the local level of any responsibility? Sweeping generalizations indeed. No response to the corruption and ineptness of a scale not easily matched in many other American cities? When a conservative says, “Hey, the problems are much deeper and more widespread than just FEMA,” panties get wadded and accusations abound.

McClay’s “perspective” was just that. One of many perspectives. To deny it in order to keep the focus on only one aspect of the situation is disingenuous.

On the contrary, most conservatives are not absolving FEMA of its shortcomings or refusing their responsibilites. They are in fact presenting a fuller picture which some choose to deny. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?


I’d just like to thank you for taking the time to create this internet website. It has been extremely helpful


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