September 6, 2005

Leftizoids shield Bush Administration from criticism.

Well, that's just what's happening. People like me would normally be inclined right now to be doing some criticism of the Federal response (and also, obviously, state and local) to Katrina. Us conservatives never did much like the idea of creating a giant bureaucracy to provide "homeland security," and we predicted red tape and delay and waste.

Instead we are busy combatting an incredibly infantile outburst of hatred and bile. Before the facts could possibly be known or digested, Bush-haters were declaring all problems to be the fault of the President, and claiming he is the worst most incompetent ever, etc etc. And pushing deliberate lies. Paul Krugman just wrote : "...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..." this story is apparently being passed around on lefty web sites.

But it's a LIE, as you can see for yourself at the Bataan website...Actually the hospital beds are not in use, because the medical team is ashore working on patients there. The Bataan was fully engaged by Tuesday PM.

The actual result of this mendacity is that valid criticisms are lost in the static, or never get made. Suggestions for improvements will likely go unheeded.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline writes:
...there are, of course, trade-offs when it comes to allocating duties among local, state, and federal entities. State and local governments, especially those in some cities, tend to be plagued by corruption and incompetent leadership. New Orleans is the embodiment, or rather the caricature, of this. Federal agencies usually aren't particularly corrupt and they tend to attract more able leaders, but they are plagued by red tape and the related symptoms associated with large organizations of this kind.

These problems are inherent, and thus will persist long after the inevitable commission has issued its reports and the findings have been implemented. Nonetheless, given what terrorists may be able to accomplish in the near future, we need quickly to find some answers that will enable us to do better next time...
My little suggestion: You ask where the billions spent on homeland defense went? Much of it went to local governments (first responders). Louisiana got 3/4 of a billion, I hear. Why not tie that money to participation in rigorous "fire drills," war games of disaster scenarios? Let tests be designed and sprung by committees composed of both federal and local disaster officials, so everybody gets a vigorous workout. Posted by John Weidner at September 6, 2005 5:09 PM
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