Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fair Criticism

Good morning all!!! : )

In the disaster of Katrina, many of us are beset upon by desires to blame someone for this failure. This is natural. We all want to see justice done. But we shouldn't let our desires run away with us. We should launch fair criticisms against President Bush and other officials; but we shouldn't launch unfair criticisms.

For example, some have criticized President Bush for staying on vacation for a day or so after Katrina hit. Is this really fair? The destructive power of the levee's breaking was not apparent immediately, and President Bush had no way of knowing how unprepared the Democratic Mayor and governor would turn out to be. Certainly it would have been better if he had engaged; but it's not fair to blame him for not realizing he needed to engage.

Others have criticized President Bush for failing to fund needed repairs on the levees. This criticism doesn't show much of an understanding of the budget process, I'm afraid. The Congress sets the budget, not the President. More to the point, this is an example of hindsight being 20/20. If asked two months ago, how many of us might have diverted money away from the levees to what seemed like more necessary projects?

Other's have criticized President Bush for his "flip" attitude while dealing with this storm. How sad. We all have coping mechanisms to deal with troubling difficulties. President Bush used humor to cope with the tragedy of New Orleans. His jokes weren't funny, but they might not have been meant to be. They were therapy, not humor.

Others might criticize President Bush for placing Michael Brown in charge of FEMA given his lack of experience. This, in retrospect, may have been a mistake. But we don't know what President Bush saw in Brown. President Bush believed in him; Mr. Brown let him down. Is that President Bush's fault or Mr. Brown's?

On the other hand, I think Republicans have a point when they suggest that Mayor Nagin should have done more to get people out of New Orleans. He is responsible for his city; why wasn't more done to get the people of New Orleans to safety?

Why didn't Governor Blanco accept President Bush's request to assume federal control over the National Guard?

Those, I think are valid criticisms.

I just think we Democrats need to be careful in our accusations against President Bush that such accusations are reasonable and sensible. I know we can do this, and if we show the American people we can be trusted to be reasonable and sensible, they will trust us enough to return us to power! : )

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