Okay, so follow along here. First, President Bush applauded Mike Brown, then used him as a scapegoat and now seems to have had his own excuses pulled out from under him by one of the least competent people to occupy high federal office in recent memory. According to the White House, it’s the Democrats’ fault we’re talking about this, not Bush’s fault that he actually ignored warnings about Katrina, because the Democrats stumbled on a video of Bush receiving warnings about the levee breaks before the storm was over.
From the Washington Post‘s coverage, Katrina Video Refuels Debate Over Response:
“This makes it perfectly clear once again that this disaster was not out of the blue or unforeseeable,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who has been critical of the handling of Katrina. “It was not only predictable, it was actually predicted. That’s what makes the failures in response — at the local, state and federal level — all the more outrageous.”
Reflecting the sensitivity of the controversy, the White House issued a three-page statement yesterday to “set the record straight,” defend the president’s actions before, during and after the storm, and accuse Democrats of using the new video “to falsely attack the White House’s Hurricane Katrina’s response.” The statement said the video showed that Bush was fully engaged and promising aid to state and local officials, and it cited other actions and testimony indicating that the president was worried about the levees and ordering help. At the same time, it added that “he was not satisfied with the federal response.”
Note, that’s a Republican criticizing the handling of Katrina, but it’s still the Democrats who are making politics of this video. If politics isn’t what we do when we debate how our government serves us, then what should we call it, Mr. President.
It gets more bizarre, when you read the new excuses for the President’s disengagement from the lives of his constituents (remember, he’s the only elected official with everyone in the country as a constituent, so the buck really does stop with him:
“We’re going back over very, very old ground,” said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. “The real danger here is it threatens to unravel the good relations we’ve built with state and local officials.”Echoing Bush’s own later explanation, Duffy said yesterday that the president in his now-famous Sept. 1 comment did not mean that no one had ever anticipated breaches of the levees that guard New Orleans from flooding. Instead, Duffy said, Bush meant only that after the storm’s landfall, many people believed New Orleans had escaped its most powerful winds.
It’s not old ground. It’s proof positive the President lied when he said no one anticipated the levee breaches. In fact, the incompetent head of FEMA anticipated it, or was told to, and warned Bush personally—and there is video to prove it. You can try, I suppose, to spin your way out of that factual conundrum, but even if you’re going on faith in the president, it’s hard not to recognize that he, once again, exaggerated facts for his own political ass-covering operation.
Maybe at the next White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Bush will show a video in which he looks under the couch in the Oval Office for people who anticipated the levee breaches.
It’s astonishingly painful to watch this farce of an Administration’s daily lying and twisting of any criticism into anti-American “politicking” as though questioning the president is like helping the terrorists. If this president can’t take the political heat for his actions, he should resign, not whine.
Technorati Tags: accountability, Bush, Katrina