Why must the federal government get involved in the Schiavo case, while abdicating resposibility for those stranded in New Orleans?
Like JohnMcG, I don't buy the idea that the disconnect is because Schiavo was white and (most of) the hurricane victims were black, nor the idea that the government prefers the "mindless" to the "poor," but, well, you've got to admit that today's so-called conservatives have some unbelievably bizarre priorities if they think one incapacitated woman in Florida is worth flexing the muscles of the entire federal government, but when it comes to helping one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas from maybe the country's worst natural disaster since the San Francisco earthquake, they're like, "Yo, that's a state and local responsibility, man." (And allow me to propose that "foul weather federalists" immediately become part of our national political lexicon.)
Look, I'm not going to sit here like some brain-dead DU robot declaring that everything in Louisiana is Bush's fault and the state and local people are 100-percent pure-as-the-driven-snow blameless. I have a lot of questions in particular about what precisely the N.O. mayor was doing in the days and hours leading up to the storm, and when I see that picture of the hundreds of city school buses sitting unused in a parking lot full of stagnant water, it makes my heart break to think of all that could've been done. But let's make one thing very clear here: The primary responsibility to act quickly in preparing and providing relief rests with the federal government, not those at the state or local levels. That's the way it works not because shifty-eyed New Orleans civic officials say so, or because big-government liberals say so, but because Bush's own "National Response Plan" says so. Furthermore, when people like Tom DeLay shrug their shoulders and sniff that the emergency-response plan is supposed to work from the bottom up" -- with state and local authorities bearing primary responsibility, and then being responsible for going to the federal government for help if they don't think they can prepare in time with their own resources -- he is apparently ignoring the fact that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco did ask for that help, days before the hurricane made landfall, by requesting that Bush declare a federal state of emergency in her state. Of course, that hasn't stopped the Bushies from attempting yet another Rovian through-the-rabbit-hole turnabout and saying it was actually Bush who begged -- begged! -- Blanco to ask for federal help, not the other way around -- apparently unaware that even if their fakakta story does check out, it opens up a whole new cornucopia of questions as to why, if Bush was so concerned about the impending catastrophe, FEMA's relief efforts were still so slipshod.
Again, it goes back to what I said in my earlier post: Bush and his people just don't seem all that concerned with the actual work of running a country and making sure that its needs are met. He's spent more time over the last three years taking better care of Iraq than he has America, and (again due to his lack of concern with how things actually get done) he hasn't even been able to get that right.
Look, I don't expect you conservatives to suddenly get a big FDR light bulb over your heads, smack your foreheads and say, "Oh! You're right! I've been wrong all this time, and will now become a Democrat!" But isn't it about time that someone on the right put left-right, red-blue considerations aside just long enough to ask whether Bush is even competent at his job? If Bush isn't even bright enough to get a handle on what "didn't go right," what on earth is he still doing in the most important office in the country?