I titled my last post "The blame game," not knowing that the Bush administration would appropriate this phrase as their talking point of the week. When anyone criticizes them on how they responded to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the appropriate Bush administration official says "Now's not the time to play the blame game." But, as we all know, anyone who doesn't want to play the blame game is probably to blame.
The other, historically typical, Bush administration response to criticism is to simply lie about what happened. Like Bush lying when he said nobody had any idea the New Orleans levees would break -- well, nobody except the National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, CNN, The New York Times, my local radio and television stations, me, and anybody else who was watching the big eye of Katrina hurtle towards the Gulf Coast. If Bush didn't know what was coming he was either ignorant or delusional -- or he's lying when he said he didn't know.
Team Bush is also lying when they say that the governor of Louisiana didn't call a state of emergency, and didn't ask the Feds for help. First, the facts demonstrate that Governor Blanco actually asked President Bush to declare a state of emergency on Saturday the 27th, before the storm hit. (Read the documentation here.) It was, in fact, the Bush flunkies who were obstructionist. It was on Monday the 29th that FEMA Director and ex-Arabian horse judge Michael Brown told fire and rescue services outside Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama not to send in emergency workers unless they are specifically requested. Why would he do that?
And here's the kicker. Even if the locals hadn't asked for help, don't you think the Feds would have gone in and done their thing anyway? After all, insignificant matters of procedure didn't stop Team Bush from invading Iraq and Afghanistan; the Bushies typically do what they want to do, whether anyone else invites them to or not. Why would entering Louisiana with food and water be any different from entering Iraq with bullets and bombs? This administration has never asked permission to do anything in the past; if they really wanted to help in Louisiana and Mississippi, they would have just gone in and did it. Act first, ask permission later -- that's their motto.
Bottom line, the Federal government screwed up big time in reacting to Hurricane Katrina, and everybody knows it. The Bushies can't spin or lie or otherwise divert attention away from the unpleasant facts. Let's hope the media and the people continue to push back against the "blame game" talking points and insist on a non-partisan commission to get to the bottom of this very obvious dereliction of duty.
But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.