Monday, September 05, 2005

New York Times Bashes Bush--Ignores Facts

In the past two days the New York Times has printed the following comments:

Each day since Katrina brings more evidence of the lethal ineptitude of federal officials. Paul Krugman "Killed By Contempt"

At a time when effective leadership is desperately needed, the United States is being led by a man who seems oblivious to the reality of his awesome responsibilities. Bob Herbert "A Failure of Leadership"

W. drove his budget-cutting Chevy to the levee, and it wasn't dry. Bye, bye, American lives....Shirt-sleeves rolled up, W. finally landed in Hell yesterday and chuckled about his wild boozing days in "the great city" of N'Awlins....When the president and vice president..... were deaf for so long to the horrific misery and cries for help of the victims in New Orleans - most of them poor and black, like those stuck at the back of the evacuation line yesterday while 700 guests and employees of the Hyatt Hotel were bused out first - they shook the faith of all Americans in American ideals. And made us ashamed. Maureen Dowd "United States of Shame"
As the levees cracked open and ushered hell into New Orleans on Tuesday, President Bush once again chose to fly away from Washington, not toward it, while disaster struck. We can all enumerate the many differences between a natural catastrophe and a terrorist attack. But character doesn't change: it is immutable, and it is destiny.
As always, the president's first priority, the one that sped him from Crawford toward California, was saving himself: he had to combat the flood of record-low poll numbers that was as uncontrollable as the surging of Lake Pontchartrain. Frank Rich "Falluja Floods the Superdome"
It would appear that the Times has once again become the official mouthpiece of the radical left-wing impatriots of the Democratic Party.

And what, pray tell, does the New York Times have to offer on behalf of the Bush know....just to provide some token symbol of being "fair and balanced?" They print this little article entitled, "White House Enacts Plan to Contain Political Damage"
Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials.

.....One Republican with knowledge of the effort said that Mr. Rove had told administration officials not to respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane in the belief that the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political.

In a reflection of what has long been a hallmark of Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats.

"The way that emergency operations act under the law is the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials," Mr. Chertoff said in his television interview. "The federal government comes in and supports those officials."

That line of argument was echoed throughout the day, in harsher language, by Republicans reflecting the White House line.

.....Mr. Bush and his political aides rapidly changed course in what they acknowledged was a belated realization of the situation's political ramifications....
Two thoughts:

1. So, it is Karl Rove who, for strictly political purposes, has ordered the President of the United States and other administration members to "not respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane..."

This order was, supposedly, because "the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political."

Ironically, as everyone in the United States knows, it is the Democrats who "appear to be seen now as being blatantly political!" The Times seems to be upset that the Bush administration isn't joining the "other side of the aisle" down in the dark, mud-slinging regions where they are abusing the Katrina tragedy to bash Bush and make as much political capital off of the backs of suffering victims as possible.

This bit of strategy looks like a home-run to me (at least for the Republicans)! Yet the Times continues to delude itself into thinking that it was a foul ball! (Side note: Did the Times constantly refer to President Bill Clinton as "Mr. Clinton?")

2. The Times wants us to believe that the Bush administration is plotting to lay responsibility for the disfunctional response to the hurricane aftermath in New Orleans on Louisiana Democrats! Surely, this is a politically motivated and hateful tactic dreamed up by the evil Rove to deflect blame from President Bush. Right?

Well, what the Times doesn't seem to want to consider is.....well.....that the responsibility for the disfunctional response to the hurricane aftermath in New Orleans DOES, in fact, rest on the shoulders of Louisiana Democrats... including the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana.

As everyone knows (including the New York Times, which chooses to ignore it because it does not fit into their agenda), emergency response planning and implementation is the responsibility of the Mayor working in consultation with the (county or) State Governor.

The Federal government (including FEMA and military assistance) cannot initiate any response without a clear invitation by the Governor's office. The Governor may, of course, activate the National Guard, but they remain under the Governor's control unless that authority is delegated to the Feds.

As of today, the Governor of Louisiana continues to keep personal control over all deployments and activities of the National Guard in the state. It would be unlawful and unconstitutional for President Bush to send anyone into Louisiana or command any action to be taken by anyone without the Governor's or Mayor's approval.

A good example of this is perfectly illustrated by the unbelievable stupidity of Paul Krugman's article cited above. He writes,

The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S.S. Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day, has been sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday - without patients.

Experts say that the first 72 hours after a natural disaster are the crucial window during which prompt action can save many lives. Yet action after Katrina was anything but prompt. Newsweek reports that a "strange paralysis" set in among Bush administration officials, who debated lines of authority while thousands died.

Let's see. Did the Governor of Louisiana or the Mayor of New Orleans request the presence of the U.S.S. Bataan? No. The Bush administration sent it before the hurricane struck, anticipating that there would be a need for it.

Then why did it sit, unused, off the coast of Louisiana? Even Krugman knows the answer to this question, although he willingly chooses to twist reality in a knot in order to pass off a lie as truth.

The real truth is that the Bush administration's hands were tied. They wanted desperately to send in the help they knew was needed. But they couldn't. Why? Because the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans were either complete fools, or trying to play a political game by preventing the Republican-led Federal Government receive any of the credit for the disaster response.

Federal resources went unused, unrequested and, when actually available, misused for days while "the Bush administration officials....debated the lines of authority."

The upshot of this whole sordid affair is that, while the Governor of Louisiana and the Mayor of New Orleans turned their backs on the expertise and resources of the Federal government, including the US military, "thousands died."

It is to his CREDIT that President Bush did not publicly blame or chastise the Louisiana government officials who blundered through the days before, during and after Katrina passed over the Gulf Coast.

It is to his CREDIT that President Bush did not exceed his constitutional authority by sending Federal agencies, supplies and military force into Louisiana without the expressed request of the Governor.

It is to his CREDIT that President Bush did not attempt to "take charge" of the disaster response operations even when the entire nation and world could see that it had turned into a complete fiasco.

The New York Times and its editors, writers and columnists know this. They know where the shame and the blame belongs.

They know it.....but they don't believe it.