Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns
Today, the day after what may turn out to have been the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, our ravaged nation looks to its President for support, and where does it find him?
At the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego giving a stump speech commemorating V-J day and, of course, shoring up support for his disastrous war in Iraq.
Now, certainly the end of the Second World War is an important part of our nation's history and the sacrifice of the men and women who gave their lives in that war should be recognized. However, Bush's speech today is pure political fluff; a sermon of patriotism to an audience of loyal supporters custom-made for handsome photo opportunities and flag waving. I don't believe that one, single person in attendance for Bush's speech in San Diego would have been in the slightest bit offended if our President had cancelled today's speech and demonstrated some leadership in a time of crisis.
Of course, past experience shows that Bush doesn't deal well with a crisis. This is the same President that, when told the United States was under attack in 2001, was completely unable to take decisive action. Yesterday, as Hurricane Katrina tore into the Gulf Coast states, President Bush was busy delivering another stump speech in support of his Medicare prescription drug program. In a time of national crisis, the President was more interested in selling his political agenda than in being a national leader.
Further, American Progress Action Fund, in its daily Progress Report, has an entire litany of shameful Bush Administration and Conservative Republican policy decisions that have both both potentially contributed to the disaster on the Gulf Coast and degraded the infrastructure at both the state and federal levels for dealing with the aftermath. More federal and state programs sacrificed to tax cuts for the super-wealthy and the illegal war in Iraq.
Our nation needed a strong leader today. What it got instead was a Republican party spokesman too busy shilling his unpopular policy initiatives and grandstanding for the party faithful.
[My thoughts and those of my family go out to those whose lives have been impacted by this disaster. For those wishing to aid those caught in the path of Katrina, please see the American Red Cross site or call 1-800-HELPNOW]