Keith Olbermann packed a whallop on Countdown tonight – “The “city” of Louisiana”. The hits to the Bush administration keep on coming…
SECAUCUS — Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: “Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater…”
Well there’s your problem right there.
If ever a slip-of-the-tongue defined a government’s response to a crisis, this was it.
The seeming definition of our time and our leaders had been their insistence on slashing federal budgets for projects that might’ve saved New Orleans. The seeming characterization of our government that it was on vacation when the city was lost, and could barely tear itself away from commemorating V.J. Day and watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus, to at least pretend to get back to work. The seeming identification of these hapless bureaucrats: their pathetic use of the future tense in terms of relief they could’ve brought last Monday and Tuesday — like the President, whose statements have looked like they’re being transmitted to us by some kind of four-day tape-delay.
But no. The incompetence and the ludicrous prioritization will forever be symbolized by one gaffe by of the head of what is ironically called “The Department of Homeland Security”: “Louisiana is a city…”
Politician after politician — Republican and Democrat alike — has paraded before us, unwilling or unable to shut off the “I-Me” switch in their heads, condescendingly telling us about how moved they were or how devastated they were — congenitally incapable of telling the difference between the destruction of a city and the opening of a supermarket.
And as that sorry recital of self-absorption dragged on, I have resisted editorial comment. The focus needed to be on the efforts to save the stranded — even the internet’s meager powers were correctly devoted to telling the stories of the twin disasters, natural… and government-made.
Hat tip to my sister in FL, who is lurking here at the Dem Daily… she emailed me this “Countdown just did a very thorough slamming of BUSH…Best I have heard yet!”