September 4, 2005

Pointing fingers

A Dispatch editorial asserts that while Dennis Hastert's comments about bulldozing New Orleans and not rebuilding it was ill-timed, those who were insulted and angered by his questioning whether New Orleans should be rebuilt on the same site shouldn't be so offended, as it's reasonable to raise the question.

The editorial also contains this nugget:
We will, however, listen to the pleas of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan who said, "This is not a time to get into any finger-pointing or politics or anything of that nature. This is a time to make sure all our resources available are focused where they need to be, and that is on the people who have been displaced."

This seems to be the refrain of those on the right these days. Sure, it's not time to stop everything and start passing out blame, but as usual, their argument presents a false choice.

Though the right and the editors of the Dispatch suggest that you can't question such rank incompetence at the same time as intense and ongoing relief efforts continue, that's obviously false.

But in the face of such blatant abandonment of thousands of U.S. citizens to an incompetent and ineffective response to their plight, it almost demands that people raise the question of how could this happen, and who was responsible. To suggest it's wrong to ask these questions which are begging to be asked is ridiculous.

The Dispatch feels its unfair to criticize Hastert for his callous comments spoken while thousands were STILL trapped and dying in the murky waters of New Orleans. Then hypoccritically suggest that now is not the time to ask questions about why the response was so hapless and slow.

The only reason Republicans and the right (and Dispatch editors) are yammering that it's "not the time to point fingers" is that they know very well where the fingers will point. And all the fingers of the entire world are pointing squarely at their "strong leader", the disgraceful George W. Bush.


At 9/04/2005 9:44 AM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

Better these questions be raised now because there is only a whitewash commission report to look forward to in the future, like the 9/11 Commission Report. The Right is used to dictating the rules of engagement over issues, and the Left, for whatever reason, complies. It's almost too much to hope for that the confrontational tone we've seen some talking heads in the media take will last, but maybe the positive response to it may encourage more people to ask the tough questions.

At 9/04/2005 10:45 AM, Blogger Flash!topian said...

Thanks for this. I've linked to it here:

At 9/04/2005 3:00 PM, Blogger busybusy66 said...

So much for McClellan's wishful thinking-of course the blame game has begun and guess who started it? And guess who is not going to claim any responsibility AGAIN?

From today's Washington Post (9/4/05) "Bush, who has been criticized, even by supporters, for the delayed response to the disaster, used his weekly radio address to put responsibility for the failure on lower levels of government. The magnitude of the crisis "has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities," he said. "The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable."

In a Washington briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said one reason federal assets were not used more quickly was "because our constitutional system really places the primary authority in each state with the governor."

And FEMA Director Michael D. Brown, a frequent target of New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin's wrath, said Saturday that "the mayor can order an evacuation and try to evacuate the city, but if the mayor does not have the resources to get the poor, elderly, the disabled, those who cannot, out, or if he does not even have police capacity to enforce the mandatory evacuation, to make people leave, then you end up with the kind of situation we have right now in New Orleans."

At 9/04/2005 5:26 PM, Blogger diehard said...

You know all these terrorists that are after us or 'want to do Americans harm', why aren't they attacking us now?
For the last 4 years thats all I have heard from the White House, the main stream press, the Republican party, the chickenshit Democratic party. National Security, Homeland Security, 'Support Our Troops'.
Well, either these Terrorists are very incompantent [one attack in 4 years] or this vast terror network the Right wing has spent a lot of time and money on to get it out in the media must not be as strong as the Bush White House and CNN/Fox want you to beleive.
The death toll will dwarf 9/11. And we cant even declare war on anyone to solve it.
The poor Blacks that live there maybe. Oh, we already did that!

At 9/05/2005 9:48 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Excellent point Matt. The Bushies no doubt want to postpone any investigation into the utter failure of the initial response until far down the road. Then, with waning interest and attention focused on it, they can sandbag (no pun intended) delay, impede, control, and ensure any report is nothing but their typical whitewash.

Placeing blame anywhere remotely near Bush is simply forbidden.

Incredible amounts of energy and political threats and muscle have been, and will continue to be brought to bear to cover up Bush's obvious incompetence and miriad failures.

Their message to the public: "Don't believe your eyes and ears."

At 9/05/2005 9:57 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Busy busy... yes, the effort to shield Bush and his administration swung into action almost immediately after they realized that it indeed was a horrible and deadly failure to respond as the situation demanded.

And disgustingly enough, they've decided to blame the Dems involved, Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco who can not be honestly blamed for the overwhelming nature of the disaster.

So far, the Feds excuse has been, unbelievably, that local and state officials didn't request enough help.

It's like a parent who wouldn't save their kid because they failed to say "please". Absolutely scandalous.

At 9/05/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Dope, I would expect nothing less than a totally biased un-journalistic response like this from the Argus/Dispatch. They barely exist as a newspaper.

No one heard anything about their April wine and dine event where they took input from their readers - handpicked ones that is.

Well, they are a Republican Rag. They may as well say something under their headline on the front page proclaiming themselves. That's what they are - a Right wing Republican rag. All the decent journalists are going to other papers to work.

Sadly, no surprise to me Dope. They will never learn how tragic they are in this whole situation until the readership dips down low enough - and it will Dope, it will.


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